Meet Sivan Askayo. A travel photographer, she captures her journeys in unique and often intimate ways: One of her most popular projects, Intimacy under the Wires, is a series of laundry images from around the world. We are so grateful that she shares many of these journeys with us on AFAR and as a Tel Aviv native currently spending a lot of her time in New York City, she has been an excellent resource for these two cities as one of our local experts. Read how this artistic traveler sees the world in her answers below as well as on her beautiful website. And be sure to save some of her fantastic Highlights on AFAR!
Right now I’m in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Though I would much prefer to be in Cuba, taking pictures of hanging laundry.
Occupation: Travel Photographer and Writer.
My last trip took me to Napoli, Italy to capture laundry.
First international trip was to Johannesburg, South Africa. I was 4 years old and we flew to visit my Grandpa who was living there.
Other than a good photo? An art book or a graffiti book is my most treasured travel souvenir.
Favorite hotel: Palacio Belmonte, Lisbon. I shot its interior and felt like I was on a movie set.
Favorite restaurant: Cafe Gitane, New York. I use every excuse to go there.
Favorite shopping destination: Paris
Favorite local style/most stylish place: So many…but I love everything that is French.
iPhone or DSLR? DSLR mostly with a little help from the iphone.
Backpack, wheelie, or trunk? Backpack.
Plugged-in or unplugged? Always plugged in.
Public transportation, cab, or bike? Public transportation—this is how you interact with the locals.
If you’re in Hoi An, Vietnam right after the TET holiday, don’t miss the first lantern festival of the new year. One of the most beautiful and photogenic experiences.
Taking someone’s picture is the best way/place to connect with locals.
Five things you can’t travel without: My Camera, Laptop, iPhone, extra box of contact lenses and obviously my passport.
Jet lag: Nap, power through, pills, or herbal remedies? Power through with the help of a few cups of coffee.
Favorite airport and why? Frankfurt. Clean and organized. As big as it is, you still can’t hear the mass of people. Most of my connecting flights heading east are through Frankfurt so it feels familiar.
Three travel apps you can’t live without: Currency rate convertor, the local Metro/Subway/Tube map, and the weather.
What’s the one hometown place you miss most while traveling? My cosy apartment and my bed.
First thing you do when you get home: Download my pictures into Lightroom.
Where do you always take out-of-town friends? Meatpacking District and the High Line in Manhattan.
Favorite travel book: The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton.
Fly solo or travel with family/friends/tour group? For work it is usually solo. For special occasions, I always invite someone to tag along.
Best memory of a trip with kids—either from your own childhood or with your own kids: Camping outdoors in the North of Israel and getting caught in the rain. There are things you can enjoy and have fun with only as a kid.
Most out-of-character travel experience? Something that you would never have done at home: I had a pho soup in an outdoor market in Sapa, Vietnam, with questionable sanitary conditions. People who know me would have freaked out.
Biggest travel mistake? Traveling without a camera or computer backup.
If I had a whole month to travel, I would go to South of France.
If I had a whole year to travel, I would go to East Asia.
Favorite foreign tradition: Welcoming each other with a kiss. I love how the French keep kissing each other.
Travel has taught me to look at things and life in a different way. Don’t take things for granted because not everything is as it seems.