We all dream of escaping the rat race, go travelling and leading a nomadic lifestyle.

Here, in the latest guest post as part of my Who’s The Daddy series, Samuel Stonehill of Moving Time Lapse shares his own experience of seeking out true happiness, travelling the world, creating films that matter while offering his young son Esteban an unconventional yet rewarding education.

It is one of the most inspiring and uplifting posts I’ve featured and it’s an honour to feature it.

Over to Sam….

family

I was born in London in 1976 to an English mother and an American father, a once rich and powerful industrialist whose career was on the decline.

Growing up I had a huge respect for him, but my lasting memory is of a man consumed by his work and the worry that his money pot was drying up.

Sent to a very strict boarding school at the age of seven, I will never forget the sound of my dormitory on that first night: thirty boys all crying for their mothers.

Of course, it didn’t take long for us to forget about home, replacing it with a relentless schedule.

From the perspective of my parents, I was receiving the best possible education, yet from where I stand now I can see that what I was actually receiving was a form of conditioning that moulded me into exactly the kind of citizen this world no longer needs.

It was not until after my father’s death in 2002 that I was able to let go of what was required of me and follow my instincts. After having worked my socks off in the British film industry for ten years I decided to stop worrying about how much money each job made me and focused instead on how much fun I could have.

This led me to a number of low paid but international film jobs and the more I saw of the world the more I understood the true nature of happiness.

I witnessed a greater joy in the children of impoverished South African townships who had nothing but the dirt under their feet, than in the children of London whose happiness appeared reliant on the purchase of the latest computer game or the number of likes on their Facebook status.

So, I decided to take the plunge and leave it all behind.

I built a website to document my adventures, gave up my home & possessions and I left the UK.

time lapse film

Since then I have been on an international journey of discovery. And a year ago I met my soul-mate on a bus in Thailand.

We did not plan for a baby but we knew the moment we found out, it was simply meant to be. Sabrina is from the South of France so we moved to a village just outside Perpignan for an eight month period.

couple

My life is all about following my instincts now, only doing the things that bring me happiness.

Because it is when we are in this state that work does not feel like work. And when one takes money out of the equation, producing the work only because it brings them joy, they can quickly find themselves manifesting all kinds of wonderful opportunities that will ultimately lead them to money, without ever having to compromise their enjoyment of the moment.

So, to commemorate the life of my first child, I made a time-lapse film in my own way.

I will update the film every year for the next twenty years.

And perhaps, if it brings Esteban happiness too, this film will become a complete documentation of the entire life of a human being.

Sabrina and I intend to spend as many years as possible travelling the world with Esteban, giving him the kind of education I did not have.

As fathers we all do what we believe to be best for our children. I realise my life experiences have led me to an unconventional way of thinking, but please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying we shouldn’t send our kids to boarding schools or that our education system is bad.

I am saying that we should always encourage our children to understand true happiness has nothing to do with possessions, money or status. And that this world does not need another powerful industrialist, it needs liberated free thinkers to help us find solutions to the growing number of planetary problems.

And one only has to travel the world to see this for themselves.

Watch his latest film on following your creativity below

You can follow our journey here.

Thank you Samuel, what an inspiring, touching and uplifting post. 

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26 Responses

  1. Concerned

    So, it’s been a year now, and what a shame Samuel has followed this up by filling his YouTube and social media with anti-vax woo.
    Poor kid. 🙁

    Reply
  2. John Adams

    What a truly uplifting post and what a wonderful way to document Estaban’s life. This is indeed very uplifting Vicki. What a great way to live your life. I’m now off to watch the videos!
    John Adams recently posted…Birth stories told by dad Pt1My Profile

    Reply
  3. Tim

    Amazing and inspiring stuff – both in terms of a philosophy of life and how to creatively capture it for posterity. Heading over to check out Sam’s site now. Thanks for featuring him. 🙂
    Tim recently posted…My Sunday Photo: Apple scrumpingMy Profile

    Reply
  4. Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas @Kahanka

    What a great interview! Love the fact Samuel went for joy over money/etc. So important I have started looking at my life differently after my dad’s death and am making sure my girls get the most time with me and know other things are not as important… like twitter can wait or even blogging which I love. The movie is something Esteban will really appreciate one day. Just lovely!
    Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas @Kahanka recently posted…At the World Premiere of Pan Movie in London #PanMovieMy Profile

    Reply
    • Samuel Stonehill

      Hello Mirka. I am so pleased you enjoyed my story and films. Thank you for your words here.

      It is important to take from life (and death) any positives we can and move forward with a smile. And it is worth remembering that having lots of money can be great fun, but so too can having nothing at all. It is just a question of how we make the most of what we have 🙂

      I certainly hope Esteban appreciates the growing film! It takes many hours to put something like this together. Though even if he isn’t interested at all, I will at least know that I enjoyed every moment of creating it.

      All the best and hope to see you on our journey.

      Sam, Sabrina & Esteban
      Samuel Stonehill recently posted…The Blood Moon – What does it mean?My Profile

      Reply
  5. Babes about Town

    Gosh Vicki I LOVE this! One of my favourite interviews you’ve ever featured. I feel like I share quite a bit of my background and perspective with Samuel and of course he’s totally a dreamer and visionary after my own heart. I must admit the time-lapse moment when he meets his wife made me tear up a little, just seeing how supposedly accidental their first encounter was and yet it was clearly meant to be. What a lovely tribute to their family and would love to watch the video archive grow. Truly inspirational, thanks for sharing part of your journey with us Samuel! x
    Babes about Town recently posted…London Kids Weekend Scoop (October 2-4, 2015)My Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Just wonderful isn’t it, I felt so moved watching his films too and like you, connected with his work and purpose, just wonderful. Thanks for your amazing comment x

      Reply
    • Samuel Stonehill

      Hello Babes about Town. Thank you so much for your lovely words here. I am really pleased to have inspired you 🙂

      And great that you are a dreamer too! The world needs more people like us 🙂

      Sabrina gets teary every time we watch the pregnancy time-lapse film…and we have watched it many times! I feel blessed to have these skills and enthusiasm for life, and hope to keep bringing tears of joy to the eyes of many 🙂

      Great that you are excited to watch the video archive grow! Don’t forget to subscribe to one of my channels as not to miss the next update.

      All the best and hope to see you on our journey.

      Sam, Sabrina & Esteban
      Samuel Stonehill recently posted…The Blood Moon – What does it mean?My Profile

      Reply
  6. Ebabee

    Wow – what an inspiring post. I love that Samuel followed his dreams without compromise. Joy and happiness are so much more important than money. What a journey Samuel has undertaken – I wish him and his family well and I look forward to following along. Thank you Vicki and Samuel for this great dose of inspiration on a Monday morning x
    Ebabee recently posted…How do you get your kids to school on time?My Profile

    Reply
    • Samuel Stonehill

      Hello Ebabee. Many thanks for your kind words and well-wishing. I am pleased to have added some inspiration to your Monday 🙂

      It is my intention to keep inspiring people for many years, so I hope you enjoy following!

      All the best

      Sam, Sabrina & Esteban
      Samuel Stonehill recently posted…The Blood Moon – What does it mean?My Profile

      Reply
  7. Theladyoftheworld

    It reminded me a bit of the male version of Eat,Pray,Love. Specially the way he met her future wife and mother of his baby. Love the videos he made and what an incredible life journey he and his family are in for. Very true what he says that best to do things for enjoyment and passion, not for money, money will come to you when you put the effort and the talent.

    Reply
    • Samuel Stonehill

      Hello The Lady of the World! I am so please my life and films touched a chord with you.

      I did see Eat, Pray, Love when it first came out, but Sabrina hasn’t yet seen it, so we shall watch it together tonight. Thanks for that 🙂 Your comparison is particularly pertinent because the film is set in Ubud, Bali…which is exactly where we will be moving to in one month! And watching the film tonight we can start getting all excited about living in Asia again. Yippee!

      So keep watching this space for the sequel 🙂

      All the best

      Sam, Sabrina & Esteban
      Samuel Stonehill recently posted…The Blood Moon – What does it mean?My Profile

      Reply
  8. Mummy Tries

    What an absolutely incredible journey, and truly inspiring way to live life. I had so much admiration for people that break away from what was expected of them, to be true to themselves.

    I have firmly believed for a long time now that joy should come first, and money can wait. I’m the only person I know that doesn’t own a house, but it honestly does not bother me.

    Having met my own soul mate whilst travelling I can also relate on this level. When you know, you just know.

    Fabulous post, such a lovely thing to read on a Sunday evening xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…We Need to Talk About the Elephant in the RoomMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      So wonderful, couldn’t agree more with that, what is life without joy, love this post and your comment, thank you lovely xx

      Reply
    • Samuel Stonehill

      Hello Mummy Tries. Many thanks for your words here. Very pleased it brought a good feeling to your Sunday evening 🙂

      Amazing that you met your soul mate on the road too. My sister also met her partner whilst travelling, on a bus in Guatemala! All single people looking for love take note! Travelling is the answer 🙂

      Living the way we do now certainly presents some challenges but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

      All the best to you and hope to see you on our travels!

      Sam.

      Reply
  9. Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser)

    Oh my what an inspirational post from an amazing family! I LOVE that Samuel followed his heart and prioritised JOY – I strongly believe in focusing on your passions and that what you put out into the universe comes back to you. Wonderful videos that sparked so many thoughts and emotions for me. Thanks for sharing this Vicki and Samuel x

    Reply
    • Samuel Stonehill

      Many thanks for your words Michelle. I am so pleased my films spoke to you. Yes, the Law of Attraction is very clear – like attracts like. And everything in the Universe has its own vibrational frequency, so when we focus our minds on the things that make us happy we are attracting into our experience physical manifestations of that joy. If only they taught this in schools! It takes some practice to recognise when the mind is up to its old tricks and stay focused on the solutions, not the problems 🙂 But with a name like The Joy Chaser, it sounds like you have the right idea! All the best & hope to see you on our journey, Sam

      Reply
      • Honest Mum

        I love that so much Samuel, it’s raised the hairs on my arms. I am a strong believer of putting and telling the universe what you want, then with hard work and positive vibes, making it happen. Joy Chaser and Michelle are simply wonderful: an inspirational blogger and friend.

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