Documentary Patterns of Life portrays the world's oldest language

Patterns of Life
Purpose Lab likes to shine a light people and organizations that inspire to travel consciously. If it is a mission in life, combining a way to make money with doing the right thing or using your talent: you will find inspiring people with unique stories all around the world and in your own country too, of course.

Patterns of Life

Sophie Brouwer (anthropologist) and Michael Zomer (filmmaker) travel as a couple to the farthest corners of the world to make a documentary about the world's oldest language, traditional tattoos. These ancient symbolisms can be translated into inspiring topics such as: cultural identity, harmony between man and nature, the spiritual world and a holistic lifestyle.

Interview with Purpose Lab

Purpose Lab interviewed these inspirators about stepping into a time machine and how new cultures lead to an encounter with yourself.

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What drives you in your work as documentary makers?

We both find it very special that there are civilizations that still live separately from the 'civilized western' world. We believe that humanity has lost a lot of ancient wisdom and inner powers through modernization, among other things. So we decided to join forces as a film maker and anthropologist and follow our curiosity. A quest to get as close as possible to the "origin" of humanity. By documenting this, we reveal ancient perspectives that can enrich our modern vision.

What is your most precious travel memory and why?

Living with the Mentawai in West Sumatra has been life-changing for us. It's like stepping into a time machine. You dive into a world where they don't use watches and agendas, but are guided by nature to survive. Ebb and flow, rainy seasons and monthly readings determine the rhythm of the day. These people live from the heart, in the now, and have strong inner powers such as intuition. Things that "we" go to mindfulness-like courses today to feel that connection again and dare to rely on it.

How do you see the ecological, economical and/or sociological impact of traveling?

You only start to see yourself when you meet other cultures. There you see differences. In the meeting with the other you find yourself, regardless of the cultural box in which you grew up. Unfortunately, the ecological aspect is pulling things out of balance, fortunately there are more and more "conscious movements" and initiatives that are committed to change this.

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What is the highlight of your career so far?

Sophie: Last year I fulfilled my childhood dream. I sailed from New Zealand to New Caledonia, three weeks at sea, completely disconnected from the world. This makes you so much more connected to nature, and therefore your inner self. Sailing in the night when you don't see your hand, extremely strong wind, high waves, followed by days without wind, a life of extremes. There is nothing to do to prevent this. Go with the flow, trust and embrace the situation. Nature has so much to teach us. I wish I could only travel this way. Durable and timeless.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

We are at the beginning of our adventure of Patterns of Life. Soon we e will go on an expedition to India, Myanmar, Borneo (Malaysia) and Indonesia, among others.

And last, but not least, what personal advice on a conscious life would you like to share?

Take a look off the beaten track, connect, live from the heart and approach other cultures from the curiosity and playfulness of a child. Be surprised and enriched by the beautiful cultural diversity of our world. From this connection your intrinsic responsibility follows automatically.

More info?

Would you like to follow Sophie and Michael in their mission, support the project or read more information? Then go to or follow their Instagram channel.