I’m not sure how to start this email, however, considering what’s happening in the world right now… I hope you’re doing well.
This email is part of my monthly newsletter and I want to be 100% upfront with you before I send any more emails. So, I’m using an email automation tool to send out this exact same email to you and 200 other people on a list.
You may have subscribed to this list sometime in the past few months on my website.
You may be one of my family members (hi mom!).
You may be my professor from University, my Organic Chemistry lab partner and lab assistant, or the girls from C-block spare whom I always had a crush but never had the courage to ask out.
You may remember me as the awkward kid in high school, sitting in the back, doing all the group assignments alone (I still do all my group assignments alone, nothing changed!).
You may be an old colleague or boss of mine and we either worked side-by-side cleaning greasy potato chip machines or I was stealing your ideas because I didn’t give any credit to you (oops!).
You may have met me from my bicycle journey across Eastern Canada when I was fundraising for a charity in Toronto or during bicycle trip around Asia for 4+ years.
You may be one of my students from Japan (お元気ですか?あなたが恋しい！).
Or, you may be a complete stranger and I should never have sent you this email.Anyway, before I continue, if receiving 1 or 2 emails from me each month isn’t your thing, click the link below to remove yourself from the list. I’ll cry a little bit and feel sad inside, but, I’ll totally understand.
An email address is sacred and I bet you’re not interested in receiving the inheritance of an African Prince who just passed away with $1,000,000 locked an account which requires you to send me your name, address, bank account information, SIN, and anything else so I can steal your identity.
So, here’s the link to unsubscribe, if you click it, I promise, I’ll never bother you again:
(Seriously, no hard feelings, just a big broken heart and toilet paper getting sold out because I’ll be blowing my nose for days.)
Uhm… are you still reading?
Did you know, I spent more than 3 hours going through all my emails to put together this list of all the important people in my life.
People who’ve taught me to be a better person — whether it was the counseling skills from the University of Manitoba, that one manager who shamed me into always being honest and giving credit where credit is due, or my parents who passed on their hard work ethic and good moral standards.
People who’ve helped me get through my darkest struggles — like the time I traveled to Indonesia with only $200 left in my bank account and I nearly died from Dengue fever for 2 weeks followed by 10 days of diarrhea due to contaminated street food.
People who’ve provided me with food, shelter, clothing, friendship, and memories I’ll never forget throughout my travels around the world.
Can you see why I didn’t know how to start this email? There are just so many different kinds of people to connect with. People I haven’t talked to in years or seen in years. Right now, I miss each and every one of you.
Well, if you’re staying on for more emails, let me give you a glimpse of what’s to come / what this is all about:
1. I’m only ever going to share personalized emails like this.
3. These emails will have a theme, based on what I’ve been writing throughout the month.
For example, right now I’m focusing on topics like:
or example, right now I’m focusing on topics like:
Q. WAIT, WHY ARE THERE TWO SEPARATE LINKS?
A. I want to keep my blog AD-FREE. So, I’m republishing my articles and stories on Medium.com where I can earn royalties through their Partner Program. If you have a Medium account, feel free to follow https://medium.com/@jefvandegraaf and show your support by smashing the clap button. I’d also love to feast my eyes on your writing, if possible.
4. I want these emails to be casual, unfiltered, factual, abstract, and totally honest. I believe that life is an exciting adventure, and, while I’m here sharing mine with you — never forget — every story has another side. So, you’re always welcome to send me an email or…
Hey, you wanna do a video call and catch up?
This COVID crisis has a lot of us stuck inside all day.
For the past 22 days, I’ve been stuck inside a tiny apartment in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I go out once a day for a walk, to get groceries, or snap some pictures. I’d say it’s lonely, but, it’s not. I’m kind of a loner. You kind of have to be to cycle across countries solo and become a copywriter.
(I promise there’s no sales pitch — I don’t need your money — my business is doing just fine — it’s legit — where you and I, like old times, catch up, shoot the shit, and share a few laughs).
O.K., I think that’s enough.
This email is getting way too long and I have to send another to try and convince old ladies in America that the Prince of Zambia just passed away and has left behind his inheritance held in a crate which requires them to send me their social security and banking information so that I can proceed with the transfer.
So, more updates to come in the next email (remember, only 1 or 2 per month) or we’ll talk to each other soon in a video call.
Jef van de Graaf