departure to zaatari / by Maranie Staab

"you have brains in your head. you have feet in your shoes. you can steer yourself in any direction you choose. you're on your own. and you know what you know. and you are the one who'll decide where to go"

with a little help from Dr. Seuss I have kicked off what I hope to be a consistent blogging effort as I travel to Jordan for the next month to work with Global Outreach Doctors in the Zaatari refugee camp. i have the privilege to be working with this medical team in zaatari to document their efforts as well as to work with another ago to provide photography instruction to a group of children and young adults -- many thanks to all those who donated cameras. 

i have been looking forward to this trip since it first became a reality only a few weeks ago. as with any travel experience, breaking out of our daily routine and stepping outside of our comfort zones encourages us to open our mind and challenge our soul. i have no doubt that this trip will do that and more. 

earlier this week I wrote in a post that I shared on Instagram that travel is a form of acestism. that it is a way of surrendering to and embracing “less” in a way and manner than enhances the whole person. it is way of knowing exactly, who, what and where you are — often in defiance of the powerful, societal forces that aim to make us forget. without all of the rituals, routines and material possessions that seem to give meaning to life at home we are forces to look for meaning within ourselves.

in many ways i am stepping into the unknown. this trip is longer than anything i have done in a while and will be spent in a part of the world that i have not yet been. my hope is to do justice to what i witness and experience through my camera, to do whatever good i can for those i meet and to, as with any travel experience, learn about myself and the world -- and to come back a better, more complete human. 

if so inclined, please follow along as i post images, stories and thoughts.