Lonely Planet Writer

The beauty of everyday life on streets around the world documented over seven years

There are countless ways to explore the world, and while travelling full-time can prove difficult for the majority of people, it is now easier than ever to find inspiration for that next special trip. With that in mind, a book has been published that documents the diverse beauty of everyday life on the street in destinations all over the globe, with special attention being paid to the themes of friendship, happiness and togetherness.

A street scene captured in Myanmar.
A street scene captured in Myanmar. Image by Jeroen Swolfs

Entitled Streets of the World, the book was compiled by Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Swolfs, who spent seven years travelling and collecting photos, stories, facts and figures about each place. The book highlights one street at a time in over 200 different cities across seven continents, and includes snippets of text and infographics to help readers learn more about the culture of each place.

A street sign capturing a fairground in Sweden.
A photograph capturing a fairground scene in Sweden. Image by Jeroen Swolfs

The collection shows diverse places and people, with 195 images captured at sites such as railway stations, harbours, busy, bustling sidewalks and public squares. “I started the Streets of the World Project to search for common themes in all capitals of the world for seven years. Themes like Friendship, love, people working together, people with their kids, laughter. And I found it everywhere. In the more difficult places I went looking for hope, perseverance, strength and brotherhood. And that too I found everywhere. It shows that when you go looking for positivity you will find it,” Photographer Jeroen Swolfs told Lonely Planet Travel News.

A roadside stall in Baghdad, Iraq.
A roadside stall in Baghdad, Iraq. Image by Jeroen Swolfs

Having spent so long working on the book, one of the things that Jeroen took away from the experience was the power that streets have on communities. “The street is a meeting place, a platform for crowds, a centre for news and gossip, the workplace of salesmen, the playground of their children and the ultimate enemy of solitude and anonymity. I believe in the power of life in the streets, where people connect, shake hands and make peace. Where deals are made and food is prepared, where business and playground mix. The street is the artery of the city and of life itself. The street is what connects people.”

A photograph from the publication showing Havana, Cuba.
A photograph from the publication showing Havana, Cuba. Image by Jeroen Swolfs

Streets of the World is priced €39.99 (£35), with a special XL version that comes with a limited edition signed and numbered print priced €150 (£132). More information is available on the Lanoo Publishers website.