There is nothing quite like getting a personal letter in the mail. It’s a chance to form a connection with someone you wouldn’t otherwise encounter; you’ll learn all kinds of cool things about life in another city or country; and you might wind up with a couch to sleep on if you decide to travel their way some day.
One of the best parts, though, is the physicality of the process. Slowing down, it gets you offline, being creative and putting that pen licence to good use. And somehow, it feels less scary to be open and vulnerable in a hand-written letter – it’s a bit like writing in a diary, except the diary responds to you with its own news and profound feelings.
I’ve never learned so much about other cultures before pen palling. Learning how different people live is always intriguing. What might seem boring to you could be positively exotic to someone halfway around the globe.