Travel Stories is the online pseudonym of Daniel de Leau, a 27-year-old adventurer and photographer from Amsterdam who quit his corporate job to pursue his passion for photography, foreign cultures and adventure. He is currently sharing his work on Instagram (@Travelstoriesofficial) which was created during previous adventures of living in Europe, working in New York, studying in South Africa and pursuing entrepreneurial activities in Indonesia.
“Although being born and raised in Amsterdam, I always had a deep desire to go out and explore different parts of the world and foreign cultures. I was lucky enough to get to see different continents as a kid on various family holidays, but my first real big adventure happened at the age of 18. Me and three friends took our backpacks and ventured into Southeast Asia for six months to submerge ourselves in unknown cultures, experience exotic adventures and widen our ‘city boys’ perspective. After that trip nothing would be the same..
Being impressed by this life-changing experience I found my way to many new and exciting places after that. In between my business studies, I lived in Indonesia at the age of 21 when me and a friend founded a non-profit organisation to build durable educational projects at various orphanages throughout Southeast Asia. Living amongst a big happy family of sixty Indonesian orphans taught me many valuable life lessons, resulted in life-long friendships, and gave me a unique opportunity to work on my photography skills and practising documenting life in other cultures.
Two years later I found myself studying African History & Economy during a minor program in Cape Town, South Africa. This gave me the opportunity to take my interest for adventure and foreign cultures to an intellectual level. I used the opportunity to do some volunteering in the infamous Khayelitsha Township were I was mentor and tutor for six 12-year old boys. Again, I witnessed that these boys were surprisingly and impressively positive-minded and able to find happiness in the smallest of things, despite of their seemingly disadvantaged situation. Of course I also used my time in South Africa to pursue my hobby of photography!
After I kicked off my professional career in the financial sector I was able to find my way to New York City for a couple of months where I again was able to experience a new culture (although very different than the others); a melting pot of people, cultures and architectural wonders begging to be captured by my camera.
A couple of months ago I decided to quit my job and dedicate a period of my life to focus on photography even more. I recently completed a photography course and have been on the road for the past months for the ‘The Raw Happiness Project”, a photographic expedition for which I explore different continents, ethnical backgrounds and religions in the world’s most challenging places to meet locals and witness the origin of their happiness. Something that has grasped and inspired me during all my previous adventures..
I hope that my photographs and travel stories gives as much joy to you as it does to me and that it inspires you to pursue your own adventures!”
The Raw Happiness Project is supported by Hammerfest, a young and fast-growing creative agency that is addicted to engagement. The true essence of relationships between people and brands is captured in conversation – not just getting your message across but evoking a response and listening to your audience. Although only founded a couple of years ago, it already gathered an impressive list of clients, including various multinational companies, for which it has completed successful projects. Besides working for its awesome clients, Hammerfest believes in investing time and effort in creating its own projects in which it truly believes. This photographic expedition is a prime example.