What do travel & wisdom have in common? Reconnection.
They are both life’s gateways. One to the mind, the other to the world.
In our fast paced world, being disconnected from either one of them is all too easy.
Here at Inner Picture Stories we combine those gateways once again.
We are all here trying to find meaning in life. And it is hard at times, for all of us. We are physically thrown into this world with no explanation about the most complex mechanism ever invented – the human mind. This creates confusion in our lives, causing us to miss the beauty of the world around us. But there is always the possibility for change, in everything. Even though we are all unique souls, there is something we have in common with every one of the seven billion others we share the planet with – a beating heart and the world we live in. We are faced with struggles that come from the same kind of sources.
The purpose behind Inner Picture Stories is to create a place where we can share those lessons we face. To spread the word and speak out to empower, help and inspire others to venture out and explore. Because within all the suffering, there lays meaning – and it is beautiful. And out there in the world, there lays a story that is begging to be shared – a story of adventure and excitement.
Be a part of it, share your story. Your voice matters.
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My name is Jellis Vaes and I am the founder of Inner Picture Stories. I thought it would be good to tell you a bit more about myself and why I created Inner Picture Stories, because my story is also the story of Inner Picture Stories.
We all have the gift of a voice inside our heart with which to speak. And we all have something worth saying, even if we don’t always realize it. For a long period in my life I thought I had no voice at all. For 6 years I went through high school consumed by suicidal thoughts, spending most of my time between the 4 walls of my bedroom – locked away from the world. I was overcome by feelings I had no words for. Feelings caused by the grief of the death of my father; caused by loneliness; by not knowing my purpose. But most of all, caused by a lack of insights about my own mind and what there was to be seen in the world. Those 6 years left me with deep scars inside of me.
As years passed by and I turned 18, I was legally able to leave school. I knew that if I didn’t do something about my current situation – that if I didn’t take a chance, my life would have been lost. In the summer of 2011 I gathered up all the courage I could find inside of me, and I took that chance. I told my mom I was going to quit school and that I was going to travel. She let me – which is the greatest thing I could ever thank her for. By allowing me to make my choice and by supporting me, she pathed the way for me to save myself. From the moment I picked up my bags and left my room – the moment that I took control of my own life, my journey had begun. What started as a 2-month journey to South Africa ended in a 3-year journey around the world. A journey of self-healing and one of rediscovering myself, while traveling through countless countries and discovering what an absolutely magnificent world we live in. I was being educated through my journey, through the world and all the people I met along that journey. It was also during that time that I fell in love with photography; where I learned to see the details of life and how to capture them.
After 3 years of traveling the world, I returned home. Questions of what I really wanted to do with my life began entering my head, and though I knew it deep inside, I didn’t completely get it yet. It was only after I broke up with my girlfriend at the time, after she told me she didn’t love me anymore – a moment which left me with a deep, unhappy feeling – that something became more visible. Her breaking up with me gave me a slap right in my face, a slap that awakened the right part of me up. I very much thank her for doing that. After the break up I had planned a trip by myself to venture out into the wild for a few days, to get her out of my head and to try and escape the unhappy feelings inside of me. I was up in the mountains looking over the landscape – observing the world, paying attention to the details that I was seeing, and capturing them with my camera. It was at that moment that the unhappy feeling I was trying to escape from – escaped from me. Watching the world – seeing its beauty, seeing it move, seeing how alive it was, brought an immense feeling of warmth inside of me. A big smile spread across my face from the peace and happiness that I felt. It was right there, that the path that I was going to take suddenly became crystal clear to me.
From that day, I cut all the crap. I pursued my dreams and I started traveling again – but this time as a travel and adventure photographer, working with other companies helping their customers take in the minute details of life. While venturing through the world, discovering deeper roots both within me and the world, the combination of travel and wisdom struck me. How both of them changed my life drastically and how so many of us are disconnected from either one of them. Happiness is balance. Balance of the heart and the world we ought to forget, or not see. Inner Picture Stories is the place to relearn about that balance. A place where both those gateways connect once again.
I very much appreciate your visit to Inner Picture Stories. Thank you, and please feel at home.
This is where the journey begins.