For most high school students, the world is a pretty small place.
There's home, there's school, there's the athletic complex, the mall and the local movie theater.
Jamestown High School sophomore Nolan Wells, however, sees a much bigger picture.
"I've grown up here my whole life," Wells said, "and it's not really that I'm sick of the area, I just know there's lots of other places to go, and I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity."
That's why next month, Wells is packing his bags, boarding a plane and heading to North Queensland, Australia, for a year through the Rotary Exchange Program.
His reasons for going, he says, stem from desires that have always been with him.
"I really just want to meet new people, broaden my perspective on cultures other than my own and become an ambassador for my home country," he said, adding that at this point, being an ambassador seems like an interesting career choice.
"There are all these stereotypes about what Americans are like," Wells said, "and I'm looking forward to being a good example and showing people what's true and what isn't about my culture. And right now I think an ideal job for me would be to become some sort of foreign ambassador. How to go about that, I'm not quite sure, but this will be an experience where hopefully I'll learn a lot more about myself and what I want to become."
Still only a sophomore in high school, he has some time to figure that out, but he's not wasting any of it. He's already completed Spanish 5, one of the highest levels of study you can take a foreign language in high school, and he says he'd like to continue to expand on that.
"There are hundreds of languages in the world," Wells said, "and so I figure for every language that I can learn, there's that many more people in the world that I can communicate with. It just broadens everything."
Once in Australia, Wells will be living with several different "host families" and attending high school, studying largely the same curriculum that he would be studying if he were at home at Jamestown High School. One thing that will be different, however, is that he's hoping to go out for the school's rugbee team.
"I know it's a brutal sport, but hey, maybe it will toughen me up a bit," he laughs. "I'm looking forward to experiences like that because they're things that I would never get to do around here. When's the last time we had a rugbee team?"
While most of the trip is being funded by the Rotary Program, Wells has also been working to raise money to fund expenses like airfare by applying for scholarships and hosting his own spaghetti dinner fundraiser, which he did on Saturday at Saint John's Church.
"Hopefully between all of that, I'll have the trip covered," Wells said. "And I can't wait. Getting the opportunity to do something like this is quite the opportunity. Some kids grow up here and they get a job here and end up spending their entire lives here, so I feel really lucky."