Greetings! I’m Dalton Charest and I jumped aboard Zugunruhe Experiences in the Summer of 2018. The many hats I wear may seem to be endless. I am a teacher, international trip leader, freelance writer and journalist, guide, rock climber, mountain biker, skier, and diver. Being born and raised in the sovereign granite hills of small town New Hampshire, this lifestyle was made possible by making the world my playground from a very young age.
After leaving the 'Live Free or Die' state sometime ago, I now live in Bend, Oregon, still tending to lead the life of a nomad on a never ending search for the next great story, experience, or lesson. My life led me to recently begin placing roots in amazing communities like Central Oregon and I am now splitting my time working with Zugunruhe Experience and toiling away in the writing factory as a freelance journalist.
My first solo adventure outside of the United States came to be when I studied abroad in Cusco, Peru, back in 2013. From that very day, travel found its place to stay in my life. Since then, I’ve worked as science teacher in the high desert of Southern California and partnered with organizations such as Rustic Pathways, Putney Student Travel, and National Geographic Student Expeditions, marketing and leading high school student travel programs around the world. My work has taken me as far away as South East Asia and the South Pacific, and as close to home as Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe.
There are so many experiences and reasons that define what it is we aim to do here at Zugunruhe Experience. I grew up with far away dreams of distant and foreign lands in the kind of family where my aunts and uncles only live a few miles down the road from me. Attending high school in a community that lacked proper funding, I found it to be somewhat of a “pipedream” for students to even imagine the possibilities of traveling to locations such as Thailand or Peru, or even just venturing into the wilderness in the search for something more.
I was lucky enough to figure out a way of breaking that pattern, but not until I discovered how to do that sometime in college. Looking back, there are so many of my friends and classmates from high school that I know that would have loved the opportunity to be able to share some of the same amazing and life-changing experiences that I’ve been so grateful to live through while abroad or trampling through the wilderness.
Zugunruhe Experience is one way that allows us to deliver those travel opportunities to the students that never had the same opportunity. We don’t hope to just send students down similar paths that we’ve gone down; we hope to show them that there are a variety of different possibilities and directions that the world can offer them as they pass through this life and it is all for the taking if they choose. Whether it be camping under the stars in the wild, collecting as many country stamps in your passport that you can or just looking to get outside your comfort zone in a safe yet challenging way, we believe that Zugunruhe Experience is another gateway for opening up the door to students searching for a different kind of world from the one they currently live in. We are simply just the conduit to the change they seek.