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I started working as a police reporter at the Daily Republic in the Stone Age, back when students inspired by Lou Grant, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein flooded journalism schools eager to search out corruption and print all that was righteous and good for the public.

That's not why I went to journalism school, however. I got my master's in journalism from Northwestern University primarily because my undergraduate degree in international agricultural development from the University of California, Davis, didn't translate very well into jobs. Not a lot of want ads for international agricultural developers. Plus, I'd worked on a newspaper for a year in Athens and liked it.

Travel has been consistent in my life from the summer I spent in Norway when I was 17 to two years living in Tanzania, Greece and England after college. I traveled to Mexico for almost two weeks while working on a project for the Daily Republic on migrant workers. I spent two weeks in Egypt just for fun.

This time my two weeks abroad will be a combination of work and play – and my first time at writing a blog.