Globe trotting professor


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     Most people have more than one interest in life. For example, perhaps you like both writing and basketball. Chances are, you might only be able to pursue one or another in life, due to time constraints and whatnot.
     Now imagine that you could follow both your dreams. Skyline College’s Rachel Bell is one of the lucky few that has been able to do just that.
     She is a full-time English Professor here at Skyline who instructs courses ranging from Writing Development to Critical Thinking. But besides being a dedicated instructor, she has found a passion for traveling abroad.
     Her first trip out of the United States was a two-week trip to Scotland and England in 1995. Soon after this she moved to Madrid, Spain for a year where she felt “most connected with the culture of Spain by virtue of having been there for a year and having all Spanish friends.”
     Rachel traveled to Brazil in 1997 with continued interest in seeing the world. In the summer of 1998 she traveled through southern Europe, visiting Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. She doesn’t have a favorite place she’s visited, as she’s loved them all. And she admits, “There’s no place I have been where I’ve regretted going.”
     So, how has Rachel found safety and comfort in all of these foreign places? Her tactic is to learn basic language skills to get around, although in most of these countries she was able to use English and Spanish to communicate. In response to her personal safety, Rachel admits that she has “felt safer in all of these countries than walking home late at night on some of the streets around here.”
     After getting a feel for Europe, Rachel visited both Thailand and Oaxaca, Mexico in 1999. She believes that “getting out of your everyday routine and your country to a place that’s totally different just makes you see alternative ways of living and you also see what people have in common and see how rich and varied the world is.”
     Rachel continued to fuel her passion when she visited Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia in the summer of 2000. She then spent the winter in Australia, the country she most identified herself with, “perhaps because of the language.” Yet her overall experience traveling impressed upon her and she explains that in “every country I’ve seen things that are amazing, so there is not one moment that stands out more over others and no one country that I would recommend over another.”
     Her next trip:
     Over this winter break 2002-03, I will be going to Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.