kenya cover open letter

Hey You,

Yes, this is for you!

Maybe we’ve met while trekking through the forest trails overlooking the snow-clad Himalayas, or on that boat when we both were anticipating our first dive underwater. We might have met at the airport in Mek’elle when you helped me get my Visa on arrival, or on the bus while driving down the Great Ocean Road. We probably shared a room at the hostel in Nairobi, or maybe you clicked that photo which is still my Instagram profile picture.

This is just to let you know that I remember you.

I remember all of you. I remember most of your faces and some of your names too. Some of the memories are a little blurry – either due to my reluctance, tiredness, or a few pegs of alcohol that I consumed before stumbling upon you! But I’m glad to remember the good times we’ve had, together.

I know that sometimes, while traveling solo, it gets deeply exhausting to constantly meet people, bonding with them only to know that you’ll soon part ways. It happens to me too. However, it’s worth it when I look back and think of all the amazing people, who’ve sprinkled colors to the stories of my journeys. It was a pleasure to know that like me, you also had the courage to be driven by wanderlust, leaving the comforts of home to explore the world out there.

We talked about the festivals in my country while you told me about the cuisines of your land. You showed me photos of the places you’ve been to, and I shared my future travel plans with you. That’s the beauty of meeting strangers while traveling. We know we’d probably never meet again, but we make the most of the moment – living it to the fullest. The connections that are created on the roads are so transient, yet beautiful.

Some of you are still my Facebook friends, and I’d love to say ‘Hi’ if we ever end up in the same city again, together. Or you can just drop me a message if you’re visiting my city, I’d be more than happy to show you around and take you to my favorite spots.

And how can I forget you? You – who opened the doors of your home and heart for me to walk in, welcomed me with warmth & love. You made me feel at home while I stayed at your place. Thank you for telling me about the hidden gems in your town, and the best eateries to savor the authentic delicacies.

I think of you, who made sure that I got to reach the Nairobi National Park on time, to catch the game drive. I think of you, who ensured that my journeys around Siem Reap are smooth and hassle-free. I think of you, who woke up early to make breakfast for me before I headed out for my road trip to the Blue Mountains. I think of you, who showed me the outskirts of Nairobi, traveled with me to the childcare home where I was volunteering, helped me cook meals for hundreds of kids at a local school, and shared with me the insights of life that you’ve experienced.

You have helped me shape my trips in ways I never expected. You’ve helped me learn a lot about myself. You’ve taught me how to make friends out of strangers, restored my faith in humanity, and reminded me that the world isn’t as scary as we are made to believe otherwise.

Here’s to all of you, lovely people, with whom I’ve danced throughout the night at the beaches of Koh Phi Phi, and those of you, who fed me hearty meals – know that you’ve shaped me into the person that I am today.

No matter how short our interaction was, I’m glad that we crossed paths. I’m a better person after meeting you.

Thank you!


A fellow traveler you’ve met on the roads.

An Open Letter To The People I’ve Met On The Roads


An absolute foodie and a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic’, I love to read and write! (Give me a book and I’ll love you all the more!)

This is me – Riyanka, an ordinary urban-middle-class Bong, living my extraordinary dreams of exploring the world! I believe in the miracles of destiny and want to travel to places, near & far, spend time with the natives, binge on local food, and absorb their culture. Life is like a book to me and whatever we do adds more chapters to it. Needless to say, I enjoy writing about my experiences, and whatever comes my way, for I believe that each and every bit helps in making the chapters more colorful. I want to have the most amazing stories in my book of life so that by the time I turn 60, I can sit back, relax, and enjoy flipping through my own pages.

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  1. Beautifully written! Wish I could say the same back to all those I’ve met along the way as well!

    1. Hope to meet you someday as well 🙂

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