It’s safe to say us Travelettes have seen a beautiful sight or two in our time. Whether that’s rainbows over cascading waterfalls, luminous pink sunsets sinking into the ocean, jungle temples catching the first light of dawn or the spread of twinkling, big city lights at night… The world is a beautiful place and there’s a hell of a lot of it out there.

But beauty can be found in all sorts of smaller things. The kind smiles of local people patiently indulging you as you butcher their language, the sight of dry land after a rocky boat trip, the first glimpse of an actual bed with actual sheets after a monster 24 hour plus journey across the globe. Hey, I guess beauty is all relative and you can make anything beautiful if you just look at it a certain way. Even a bunch of concrete steps…

Steps 1 & 2: 16th Avenue, San Francisco

Steps 3 & 4: Valparaíso, Chile

step2chile Jean-BaptisteYunis


Spread across the globe, united by one idea, this collection of street artists sought to transform the day-to-day, nondescript sight of a local flight of stone steps into a thing of beauty. Instead of looking at them as ugly, arduous journeys to tackle, these artists saw instead a fresh canvas begging to be transformed into something beautiful and by doing so, altered the view of many others facing the same daunting ascent. Talk about a glass half full attitude… I feel a life metaphor coming on.

Steps 5 & 6: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Steps 7 & 8: Seoul, Korea

From intricate mosaics in San Fran (put together by over 300 people from the community, operating under the guidance of artists) to vibrant murals in Chile; from romantic flowers in Sicily to inventive origami in France; from the traditional designs of Korea to life like portraiture in Rio – these unique pieces of street art serve as a glimpse into a selection of vibrant communities from all around the world. Who could fail to be uplifted by these colourful works of art?

Step 9: Tehran, Iran

Step 10: The Stairs of Peace, Syria
Step 11: Beirut, Lebanon
Step 12: Istanbul, Turkey
Step 13: Sicily, Italy
Step 14: Wuppertal, Germany
Step 15: Angers, France
Step 16: Morlaix, France
Maybe these steps really are a bit like life. Sometimes up close it might look like a big old mess but when you take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture, it can actually reveal itself to be a very beautiful thing indeed. Monet, I am sure, would agree. Do you?

Alex Saint is a writer based in Bristol, England – a place she calls home due to its friendly, diverse atmosphere and never-ending list of fun things to do. She loves tattoos, quirky fashion, pugs and, of course, travelling.

Keep up with the Saint sisters and their adventures in Bristol, London and beyond at and @saintsonaplane or Alex herself @alexsaint13


Pics via Bored Panda