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As 2016 draws to a close, here's a list to inspire your next adventure. We chose these destinations with the idea that unique experiences will always beat run-of-the-mill vacations. To me, the best way to travel is to step outside of your comfort zone and explore. So while you won't find any all-inclusive resorts on…
Rustic Pathways has a lot to celebrate about what our students, staff, and community partners accomplished in 2016—from the number of service hours our students completed to the results of our first Student Impact Evaluation. So we broke down 2016 by the numbers. We added operations in Cuba, including two new programs—of the nine…
With winter showing its cold ugly face, if you're anything like this California kid, you're probably already dreaming of warmer climates. As Rustic's International Photography Manager, I've visited each of our destination countries and personally felt that big ball of fire's warmth on every continent but one. So journey with me as we shake out…
“What’s your experience with high altitude climbing?” Only at Rustic Pathways does an email with this subject line come into your inbox, and it doesn’t strike you as strange. Were all of the times I’ve bounced around high in the Andes leading Rustic programs, skiing the Rockies, and hiking and camping in the Sierras about…
It's not hard to find anecdotal reports about the benefits of student travel. Knowing that students return from our programs having experienced some type of growth wasn't enough for us. So we created a framework to intentionally design our programs and assess what and how students learned from them. According to the results from our…
Experiences make us happier than things, according to science. "The good life, in words, may be better lived by doing things than by having things," psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich first wrote in their research paper titled To Do or To Have? That Is the Question.   It's not a new concept. The New…
We're excited to present our 2016 Impact Report! Every year we share findings about the impact our programs have on the communities where our students travel. In 2016, our programs impacted 37,491 lives. That number includes our community partners, international staff, and the students who participated in Rustic programs this year. This year, we also…
Today is Giving Tuesday and it's never been easier to get involved! The Rustic Pathways Foundation supports locally-driven projects and programs in the regions where we travel. In 2016 alone we raised more than $250,000 to support 15 projects in 10 countries. We work directly with communities to identify high priority needs and then collect donations…
Resources: Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things Hill Tribes of the Golden Triangle Intro to Photography in Cuba The Refugee Youth Project Spanish Language Immersion Pacific Adrenaline To give the gift on an experience, start with Rustic's 2017 catalog.
Rustic Pathways is excited and honored to be named one of Outside Magazine's Top 100 Best Places to Work in 2016. According to Outside, this list "showcases companies that make employee health and happiness a point of pride." Maybe we're biased, but Rustic exemplifies these qualities by allowing us to work from literally anywhere and providing free travel perks. Rustic also…
Creating a crowdfunding page isn't the only way to fundraise for a service-learning trip (but it can be a great one). We chatted with a handful of alumni who have successfully fundraised for their Rustic Pathways programs. They wanted to share the keys to their success. For more ideas, read our fundraising tips and tricks and get started! Make…
Together we're building a world that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, acceptance, and peace. These photos remind us that we live in an amazing world where diversity and a connected humanity should be celebrated. [caption id="attachment_16866" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Meeting your new hair stylist and BFF in Fiji.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16869" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Young love in Laos.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16867" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Sharing lots of…
Whenever I meet someone, the conversation inevitably turns to travel. But it’s more than just knocking countries off of a bucket list—we talk about the people we met, what we learned during these rich cultural experiences, and how they changed us. These are the same kinds of conversations Rustic Pathways students have when they return…
I thought my first visit to Cuba would be like visiting a country down on it’s luck. I expected to see abject poverty and crumbling infrastructure, a country struggling to feed and house its people. My ideas couldn’t be further from what I expected. I was transported back in time, but in a way I…
Following current events can feel super overwhelming. Headlines splashed with violence and fear, climate change, political injustice, gender inequality... the world can look like a messy place. At Rustic, we’re constantly inspired by the students who travel with us, and from what we’ve seen, Generation Z is full of potential change makers. We're here to…
The following photo series from Rustic Pathways staff member, Mary O'Connor, depicts life in the Prek Toal floating village in Cambodia. The friendly faces of the villagers, the vibrant colors of the produce, and the majesty of Angkor Wat at sunrise will make you feel completely at home. [caption id="attachment_11541" align="alignnone" width="640"] A woman paddles through Prek…
Happy National Coffee Day! Bravotv.com celebrated the holiday by highlighting the 8 Best Places in the World to Travel If You Love Coffee. Among them was Costa Rica. Many Rustic Pathways Costa Rica alumni met Matias Zeledon, owner of Down to Earth Coffee in La Fortuna. Matias, who harvests and roasts his own coffee, has…
Grace Wickerson is passionate about creating awareness of what a healthy relationship looks like. Her non-profit, Kickin’ Violence educates adolescents on respecting boundaries, healthy relationships, and self defense. The organization also provides Survivor Packs--care packages with essential toiletries, journals, and notes of encouragement--to victims of domestic abuse. Grace’s work with Kickin’ Violence earned her a…
Summer is coming to a close meaning it’s time to switch gears, break out your fresh notebooks for the school year (Moleskines are our go to), and start planning your next big adventure. We should confess, we’re planning them too, and we can’t hold in our excitement any longer. We are thrilled to share that…
The Nasivikoso School in Fiji is now equipped with brand new furniture in the school and teachers’ houses thanks to the more than $10,000 raised by RP Foundation Development Ambassadors in 2015. The school purchased six beds with mattresses, three dining tables with chair, four dresser tables, thirty school desks with chairs, and three teachers’…