By Jenn Ritchey
At the age of 17, I had my first experience with traveling to a different country. Even though the journey to Canada didn’t involve jet lag or dramatic time changes, the experience completely altered the direction of my life.
On this two-week trip, I traveled to Vancouver to do volunteer work all throughout the city.
I volunteered at local shelters, tried foods that I had never heard of and started to grasp how vast and diverse the world really is.
For me, this experience was outstanding because I grew up among the cotton and oil fields of West Texas. Up until that point, I did not have many encounters with people who had traveled outside of the U.S. or even very far outside of Texas.
In fact, most of the people that I grew up with spoke most often about the love they had for Texas. I’ll never forget how shocking it was to meet people in other states that did not care that I was from Texas. …
This article was originally published in the print edition of the Federal Way Mirror on July 27, 2018.
About the Author
Jenn Ritchey teaches courses in political science and diversity and globalism and is the coordinator for Global Programs. She has master’s degrees in political science and applied international studies and spent more than two years in sub-Saharan Africa as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. When she is not at work, you can find her hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
About Highline Voices
Highline Voices brings a range of diverse perspectives to our community, featuring the expertise of Highline College staff and faculty. Read other articles in the Highline Voices series that began in 2016. All Highline employees are welcome to contribute to the series. Email Tanya Powers or Kari Coglon Cantey for guidelines.