The Great Virginia Adventure

It is not often that one gets to part with almost everything he/she owns. It happens on occasion: moving off to college, natural disasters, bankruptcy, divorce settlements, cross-country job relocation. My life happens to currently fall into the last category. I accepted a position with the Christian Broadcasting Network as a remote camera operator/field editor. This means I get to fill up my passport with stamps, as well as add new stock to my story arsenal with missed buses, Egyptian muggings, and border crossings. I get to travel the world (paid of course) and film news reporters–classy in a Robinson Crusoe type of way. I get to fall back into my nalgene-carryin’ roots of growing up in Colorado. Right now I envision distant places never seen, new faces, light clothing and hiking boots, sunscreen, two story buses in rainy London. But then reality steps in and I see a different picture: long weeks away from friends and familiarity. No dog or cat or fish. Paying rent for a place I’m never at. Living on the road, unshaven weeks accopmpanied by the lack of showering in European cities.

The gig has its pros and cons. I’m definitely excited though, that’s for sure. My intention is to write on here when I have a good story. Share my experiences if you will. I was just recently a field producer in Dallas, most days behind a desk and phone, arranging video shoots and casting actors. Well, this is just another transition, another story. I still consider myself a video producer, regardless of my new title at CBN. I’ll honor it, but I feel like my new job description is the same as my old one. Find stories, shoot creatively, edit creatively, and weave together a compelling story that others can relate to.

I’m in the process of selling most everything I own. I put it all on Craigslist. Kind of fun to strip down to the bare necessities (the simple bear-necessities…). I’m selling stuff ranging from couches to my DVD player to my dishes. Some things I’ll end up giving away, others throwing away. I’m shortening my closet racks too, sticking old college shirts in trash bags and dropping by the salvation army. It’s a little scary having to part with old items of comfort, like my coffee pot from college. It doesn’t even work that well, but its dripped me awake many a night. I also have two portable space heaters from my old college house. I would run them when it got cold in Fort Worth (which it doesn’t get very cold) because our house was built like an old shack, gaps and drafts like you wouldn’t believe. Lots of memories flood me as I sift through this crap that now represents who I am in Dallas, much of which will not make the move to Virginia. I’m reminded that I’m not defined by my things, or even the types of things I want, but the type of person am I and how that manifests in the relationships around me.

This is not a complex thought, but a hard one to find true at times. It’s easier for me to find my meaning in things that don’t show me my reflection. I’m hoping that I can make a difference out in Virginia and throughout the world. I’m hoping that I can carry a camera to far places in hopes that some might see what my camera sees, in hopes that those watching may feel more obligated to change the world around them. A lofty goal sure, but one that tells way more about who I am than my stuff ever could. That’s my comfort for now.

Keep up with my blog, check back often. I’ll be sure to upload photos from each trip I take. I think there’s a way to subscribe so you’ll get email updates when I post something new.

I’ll be sure to write on the road.

RJ

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About Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is a 25 year old remote disaster and humanitarian photographer and media liaison working for an international non-profit. Ryan has a B.S. in Radio/TV/Film and Religion and an M.A. in International Politics.

2 thoughts on “The Great Virginia Adventure

  1. I love reading this Ryan and look so forward to more. What a great adventure you are on! I can’t wait to catch up. Love you!

  2. Dear Ryan,
    It was so interesting to read your blog.
    Thank you for sharing. You are very blessed and
    I look forward to reading your stories.
    God bless you on your adventures. You write beautifully. We love you and you are in our prayers as you continue God’s work. Love Joyce

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