What makes you proud to work at Rustic Pathways?
I love the impact that our programs have on young travelers. My most transformative experiences as a person came when I got off the tourist path and really was able to engage with people. To be involved in helping more and more young people find the value of experiencing the world in that way and at an earlier time in their life is really rewarding to me. I want to live in a world where we see the shared humanity in each other as a first step.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
I get to hear about the newest and most interesting new program experiences as they are being developed. Rustic is always experimenting with new locations, new program experiences, and new learning opportunities, and it’s exciting to get to be part of understanding what families are looking for next and helping them learn how Rustic will be the right fit for them.
What have your own international travels entailed?
I was really bitten by the travel bug in college. I spent two months backpacking around Thailand one summer and then went back for a semester in Hanoi the following year. Right out of college I joined the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program and spent three years teaching at a high school in Nagasaki, Japan. I spent another two years in Tokyo getting my Master’s degree in International Relations. I then joined a gap year company and spent the next two years as an educator leading 8 month-long trips with cohorts of students as we studied critical global issues first-hand in Ecuador, China, India, and South Africa.
How did you first go about getting a global perspective?
I have always been fascinated by geography and languages. But, it wasn’t until college when I had the entire course catalog at CU-Boulder in front of me that I really got to explore why the broader world fascinated me so much. I learned more and more about how we all live in this world and along with travel experiences developed a clearer understanding of the inequities at the core of it. I knew that my passion for travel and the broader world wasn’t just about exotic, far-off places, but about a sense that we share a common desire for safety, happiness, and love, and that it’s important that we all work in our own ways bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.