January 16, 2015
As a company that believes in immersing ourselves in a city, travel has never been about collecting countries and adding stamps to our passports. We believe that the best way to get to know a city is to wander its streets, and it’s the small moments we experience on the streets of a city that bring alive a place for us. It’s these moments that 20 years later will be etched in our memories long after we’ve forgotten the hotels we stayed in or even that our luggage was lost. It’s these moments that we recall excitedly over dinner with friends when we come back from a trip. It’s these moments we travel for.
On Jalan Temengong, East of the Malacca River is Nancy’s Nyonya Laksa, a street side noodle shop frequented by locals. Nancy makes this coconut goodness every morning from scratch with a lot of love. Most of her customers are regulars, and while we were in Malacca, we became regulars too. Every bowl is served with a smile and for a moment as you slurp up breakfast, you feel like you’re a part of this little city even if you’re just visiting for a while.
Kazimierz, the historical Jewish Quarter and Podgorze, the site of the Nazi created Jewish Ghetto are home to some of Krakow’s best street art. In a country that saw more horror and lost more people than any other country in World War II, street art serves a bigger, grander purpose than just beautifying drab walls. It’s a symbol of the country’s regeneration and resilience, and it’s for the few moments we stared in awe at Pil Peled’s mural ‘Judah’ that we travel.
It’s hard to describe just how important tea is to Morocco. Every conversation and every friendship begins with a cup of tea, and the ritual of brewing and serving tea is an important part of life. In Marrakech’s Souk Nahhassine, we discovered a street side shop filled with vintage silver teapots in an old, crumbling Foundouk, once a resting place for travelers. The thrill of treasure hunting and discovering beautiful pieces that tell the story of a place and its traditions is one of the reasons we travel. (Chaaroui Mohamed, the shop’s owner is pictured getting a photography lesson from Bly photographer Shantanu Starick.)
Tucked away on Mutton Street in the legendary Chor Bazaar is Shahid Mansoori’s shop Mini Mart that sells vintage Bollywood posters. A collector himself, Shahid although unassuming and humble, has made a name for himself and is known around the world. If you stop by, he’ll offer you a chair (likely the same one Amir Khan sat in) and a cup of chai and tell you stories of Bollywood legends.
Livestock markets may not rank as the most obvious of holiday destinations, but the bazaar on the outskirts of Bukhara is a place unlike another. Locals call it the “farmer’s market” and farmers dressed in traditional skullcaps to Adidias tracksuits begin arriving as early as 3 am with their livestock. As the sun rises, bidding commences. It’s a glimpse of Uzbekistan at a crossroads, of modern meets ancient and East meets West; a picture of unvarnished daily life in all it’s beauty and grit.
Why do you travel? Have a moment you’d like to share?
Tweet or Instagram why you travel to @projectbly with hashtag #whywetravel and we’ll retweet or regram your moment.