What have your own international travels entailed?
I have spent a lot of my travels in the back countries of the United States, mostly in the Upper Midwest on Lake Superior, and the Boundary Waters region. During my college career, I spent a full year backpacking, canoeing, and leading outdoor expeditions for teenagers and children.
Later, I had the opportunity to study abroad in India. During my time in India, I taught English to students, learned a bit of Hindi, trekked in the Himalayas, and lived with a family whom I’ve come to love and adore. I hope to someday travel back there with my family.
I also interned in Argentina as an environmental educator for Argentina’s first and only Environmental Education Center, La Lucena.
In the future, I plan on traveling to Guatemala with my family to escape the bitter Wisconsin winter and stay in the local towns and villages surrounding Lake Atitlán.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
The most fulfilling part of my job is to be able to meet with students who had life changing experiences on their programs. Many students who travel with us on our programs, come home with new friends, newfound interests, and a different perspective of the world.
Knowing that I have part to play in making sure our students can travel on our programs, and have a wonderful time, really puts a smile on my face and remind me how rewarding intentional travel can be.
What has been one of your favorite moments at Rustic Pathways?
One of my favorite moments while working at Rustic Pathways so far, has been meeting with students for Personal Pathways.
Personal Pathways is a pre-departure program in which we meet with students virtually, to get to know their interests, why they want to travel, and what they look forward to while on their program.
Since I don’t work directly with students on programs, I really enjoy getting to know them in a different way.
Personal Pathways has been a wonderful program for making sure students feel comfortable, heard, and excited for their upcoming travels.
Why do you view travel as an essential part of every education?
I believe travel is an essential part of every education because of the overwhelmingly positive, life changing impacts it can have on people.
Travel gives people the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones and become a citizen of the world for a moment.
During all my travel experiences, no matter where in the world I was, it was always the people that I met and cared for that meant the most to me when I look back on my time away. Travel also has a funny way of showing people a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world, both of which, I think are essential qualities to have.