What Joy Bryant Can’t Travel Without

The actor Joy Bryant, originally from New York, now lives in Los Angeles where she filmed the television series “Parenthood” for six years. Her next role is as a public defender in the fourth season of “Ballers,” which has its premiere in August on HBO.

Ms. Bryant’s favorite vacation spots are Jamaica and Kauai. “I love island life, man! I’m on island time.” When she travels to Jamaica, though, she doesn’t do much. “I eat a lot of ackee and saltfish, and chill. I don’t do anything, just eat Jamaican food. I haven’t been in a few years but I’m looking to go back soon. I love the people, the music. In the Bronx I grew up with a lot of West Indians, a lot of Jamaicans and Puerto Ricans, and I have such a love for all things Jamaican from those early years.”

She loves Hawaii, too. “I’ve been to the Big Island and Kauai. I love them both. I don’t get in the water a lot. I can catch waves from time to time, if it’s under the optimal circumstances and I don’t have to work too hard for it. I just love being outside and the beauty of the islands.”

Her most recent vacation was in Utah. “My husband and I snowboard and ski and we spend as much time as we can out there in the winter time. We have a place out in Eden, near Powder Mountain and that’s the mountain that we favor out there. Our place is not even a 10-minute ride down the mountain. It’s our getaway spot.”

Here’s what she packs on every trip.


“I travel with my blue sparkly drumsticks because I never know when I’m going to get a chance to play. I’ve been taking lessons for a couple of years. I used to travel with a practice pad, too, but then my teacher said I could just practice on pillows.”

Jacket with pockets

“I always wear some kind of military-inspired jacket because I like to have my stuff really handy. Having a jacket that has four or five pockets means I can hold my phones. I have two — I have a legit Blackberry, an old-timey Blackberry that you’ll pry from my cold dead hands. It still works. And my Samsung that I use for social media, taking notes, photo and art apps. So I’ve got the Blackberry in my right pocket, the Samsung in my left, cash in the top right and a classic iPod in the top left. I buy music and I like having access to it and not having to have a Wi-Fi connection. I’ve been on an obsessive Radiohead kick recently, so I’ve been rocking out to that.”

Metallica T-shirt

“I lifted it from my husband. It’s a vintage ‘ … And Justice for All’ T-shirt that mysteriously shrunk in the wash. I don’t know how that happened but it shrunk to my size. It’s mine now.”


“I always have a bag of assorted teas. I have ginger tea, peppermint, Smooth Move because you know when you’re traveling, things sometimes don’t move as smoothly as you’d like them to. I have a tea for every occasion. I’ve become really obsessed with Zhena’s Gypsy Rose black tea with rose petals. This is my life: drumsticks and rose tea. I’m 42. I’m, like, sipping rose tea in my Metallica shirt with my blue drumsticks.”


“I always have two pairs of glasses. I have my reading glasses and then the glasses that can see into the future. They’re called progressive glasses, where you see far away, you see midrange, and you can read through the bottom. They’re my omniscient glasses because I see everything. I can read your mind. I can read signs from miles away. They’re my bionic glasses.”


“Even if I don’t read it, I always come armed with a book. The thing I’m excited to read next is the graphic novel “Kindred,” which is based on Octavia Butler’s novel. That’s my new travel companion.”


“I have a little Buddha, maybe three inches tall, that I travel with when I’m getting on a plane or going far from home. My friend Brian gave it to me in 2008 in Denver — we were in town for the Democratic convention. I call it the perfect Buddha because it’s the perfect little size. I’m not Buddhist but it’s a little reminder of friendship and love and home and peace.”

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page TR2 of the New York edition with the headline: JOY BRYANT keeps things close at hand with her jacket.. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe