I’m thrilled you’ve stopped by! I’m Tricia.

tricia-a-mitchell

As an explorer and international communications strategist, I am passionate about the power of citizen diplomacy – the idea that an everyday citizen can represent their home country and promote positive intercultural exchange. 

I have lived overseas for 15 years, visited 60 countries, and called Germany, Malta, and the United States home. Currently, my husband, Shawn, and I are based in coastal Croatia.

Equal parts nomadic and nesting, my life came full-circle in 2001 when I returned to Germany (my birthplace) to work as an education manager and trainer. For more than ten years, I lived in the enchanting city of Heidelberg – a city seemingly pulled from the pages of a storybook.

The Heidelberg Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the city, is where I would marry Shawn in 2010. The chapel is not far from the promenade where my parents pushed me in a carriage as a baby.

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Mom and me visiting the Heidelberg Castle in Germany, when I was a baby. Just over 20 years later, I’d move to Heidelberg and live in an apartment visible from this spot.

From a young age, I was taught to appreciate the world’s diversity, and in the process, my love for travel storytelling was born. As an eight-year-old visiting Europe, I scribbled notes about the scrumptious pastries I feasted upon, and the snippet of Mozart’s hair on display at his Austrian birthplace. Since I was a budding pianist, I was jubilant that I had the same color hair as the celebrated musician.

Despite being an only child, I still experienced the ups and downs of sibling relationships thanks to the French, German, and Hungarian foreign exchange students my family hosted. They lived with us in Rock Island, Illinois for a total of three years.

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The historic home where I grew up in Rock Island, Illinois.

Brushing shoulders with people from around the globe has shaped my perspective. As I stood in the shadows of the Taj Mahal, Petra’s Treasury, and Angkor Wat, I certainly created indelible memories. However, it was the people who extended me heartwarming hospitality on my travels who left the most lasting impressions. I wonder how the world would be if all individuals were such exemplary citizen diplomats.

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My interests include slow travel, playing the piano, hiking, yoga, history, writing and photography. I have a weakness for dark chocolate and unique scarves, and I love hand-written letters. I know enough French to get in and out of mischief, but someday I’d like to become fluent.

Tricia Shawn Mitchell Saint Emilion Bordeaux
Shawn and I spend an afternoon in Bordeaux, France.

After meeting online and falling in love with each other’s writing, my husband, Shawn, and I launched Chessboard Communications in 2012. The company helps strengthen the communications capabilities of international clients. Over the years, we have partnered with dozens of organizations worldwide.

My professional passions focus upon international relations, writing, and education. I have a master’s degree in international relations, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

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Harvesting grapes in the European country of Moldova.
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Shawn and me in costume in Oberammergau, Germany.
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Marrying in the Heidelberg Castle, Germany. Photo credit: Kassie Borreson.

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