What Writing Letters to Strangers for A Month Taught Me

This isn’t about romance — no dating apps were involved in the process.

Alaykka Fowler
7 min readFeb 12, 2020

The world has been increasingly connected nowadays that we seem to have forgotten what it is like to actually connect. And if we do want to connect with people we don’t necessarily know, we automatically associate it with the intention to build romance or land casual hookups. It’s as if the days of getting to know others without having any pre-determined goal have gone beyond us. Sometimes, I even think that we have purposely reset our systems into being emotionally unavailable by default that we end up not wanting to be associated with anyone unless we gain something solid out of it — love, friendship, professional advantages, you name it.

It’s like curiosity is not a thing anymore. So, with this realization, I decided to download this modern penpal app.

I started to write to some strangers from different parts of the world. Most importantly, I did not set any goal, except for the hopes that at least one of these people will have the same interests as me (and no creepy perverts!). My intro went like this:

“Hello, stranger. :)

I’m (my-random-screen-name) and I live in France, but I’m originally from the Philippines. More than a…

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Alaykka Fowler

Born in the Philippines. Living in France. Writing for the heck of it.