Rustic Pathways Changes Perspective

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Maddie Geary, Staff Writer

The quest to find something entertaining, memorable, and life-changing to do over the summer is always a daunting task. Fortunately, Rustic Pathways, a non profit company, offers a unique experience that will change one’s outlook on the world and the people in it. Rustic Pathways provides quality travel to some of the most welcoming countries the world has to offer. The available trips fall into three main categories: fun, charity, and education.
One of the most popular trips is a relaxing island -hopping week around Fiji. However, Rustic Pathways openly advises that the most rewarding trips are those where travelers have to work hard, whether it be helping people or enriching oneself by learning a language. Whatever trip you choose, you are guaranteed to develop a deeper understanding about the world.
Rustic Pathways trips have become particularly popular around the Bay Area, which proves to be highly beneficial because it gives a chance for those who live in more fortunate areas to visit a developing country. Senior Maddie Nelson went to Laos to ride elephants and help families for a week this past summer and she claims it changed her life.
“Laos gave me a whole new outlook on life. The way of life there is so incredibly different and the culture is truly amazing. I learned so much about the world and myself. The trip helped me decide that in the future I want my occupation to have something to do with Laos and helping out the country,” Nelson said.  “The people are so friendly. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we were able to communicate and connect in ways I would never have thought possible.”
Junior Chiara Rescalvo also explored a developing country.  She traveled to Cambodia and Thailand for three and a half weeks. In Thailand, she took care of tigers and learned about the endangered species. In Cambodia, Rescalvo stayed at an orphanage and took care of kids.
Rescalvo explains that the trip was the best experience of her life. Traveling by herself across the world for almost a month was a daunting endeavor, but her only fear was demolished within the first few hours.
“At first I was scared that I wouldn’t make any friends, but I ended up making friends that will last a lifetime,” Rescalvo said. “I was able to meet people from all over the country who shared similar passions and I got to spend a good chunk of my summer with them.”
Other students who have participated in Rustic Pathways trips include junior Lily Longton and senior Kate Laughton.