Ryan Payne's Blog

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Who said a journalist can’t report in style?

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Some people never leave their home country. Some people never even leave their home state. At 22 years old, I am able to say that I’ve traveled to most places people only dream of going- but there is one place in particular, I’ve yet to go- and on Wednesday May 11, 2011- that will all change.

The middle east is has always been a fascination of mine, whether it was from the beautiful spoken tongue of Arabic, to the rich cultural history and ties to the ancient religions. Through a university-sponsored trip, I will be spending one month in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (The Jordanian Kingdom), and the Republic of Turkey- working as a photo journalist.

Most recently with the capture of Osama Bin Laden, most Americans are quite reserved and can be rather short minded when it comes to traveling to the middle east. Who can blame them? Chances are their only views of the middle east have come from the skewed sources of American media. But without knowing what to expect, I am actually quite eager to land in Amman, Jordan and seek out the local overall feeling of the on going conflict.

Now with most people asking me if I am nervous- I must say I am never fearful of going to new places. In fact I love exploring new lifestyles and cultures. The only concern that lies in the back of my mind is that I wont be able to get a weekly haircut-  which is something I’ve grown quite accustomed to getting, as a young African American male.

Things that I might need to take into consideration- more specifically- my body piercings. I used to have 7 piercings, but have sadly reduced the count to 6 when one of them accidentally fell out during a Boston snow storm. It closed as I awaited for the treacherous wind to stop. Either way, I am not opposed to taking any of them out; though I might need to buy a scarf to cover up the one on the back of my neck.

In regards to what I am packing, I was instructed to pack as lightly as possible. As a journalist who enjoys reporting on  lifestyle and fashion, that can at times be quite disheartening when you are torn between whether or not you should bring your Louis Vuitton travel bag- or your simple, down to earth Samsonite. I played it safe this time- I chose Samsonite. I have enough clothes to suit me well into at least a week and half, along with several travel accessories that are most needed for a daily upkeep- meds, mouthwash, tooth brush, shaving creams, and of course my ray ban sunglasses. Who said a journalist can’t report in style?


Written by ryanpaynesblog

May 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

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