I’ve mentioned Nepal on here a few times, namely because it was my first solo trip at 19, still at uni, had never been away from home or mama for that long etc etc. and it’s always going to hold a really special place in my heart! I went back this April, called it my ‘7 year homecoming’ which I’m still in two minds about sharing on here partly because there’s loads of feels attached, and partly because I want to find the time to sit and write in order to do justice to it all, but we’ll see what happens.

While I was home during the summer, mama and I did a clean out of the shed which uncovered lots of memories and things that really needed to be chucked out, but I found this card she had written me when I went at 19. And it gave me warm fuzzies all over again x (you can probably read her writing, but I rewrote it just incase lol)

Dear Saira,

I hope that this trip/journey that you are taking is going to be your lifetime experience and a memory for years to share (I think she meant years to come haha x) I want you to have a great time. Look, listen, you will indeed be a different person when you come back; who knows you might turn out to be a vegetarian! (just kidding, I know you’re looking forward to that burger on your way back) I have invested my dream in you; something I hoped to do when I was at your tender age, but I don’t mind; I think you’re braver and smarter than I was at that time. I just read the Himalayas book (we have this book on the Himalayas which mama loves and she’s always living her dream of going to Nepal via this book) and envisioned I was there. You. You put it all into an action plan. Good for you! Look after yourself. Make the right choices. Don’t forget who you are. We will be thinking about you all the time. I will miss you! More than you know.

Have fun!


I just applied to graduate a little while ago, after probably the maddest two years of my life in which so much happened and changed all at once. I remember having WAY too much on my plate this once and ready to quit all of it thinking it was so pointless. Which it might be, but it’s been the one constant (besides God obvs.) which has kept me grounded and given me something to work towards all this time. And I’m kinda sorta proud of meself for getting through it! *pats self on back*

The endless cups of tea made by my work family, the million-and-one hugs, boring people with all the super cool things I had just read and was learning, friends reading my papers or listening to presentations long distance pretending they knew what I was on about, mama reading my policy brief on the ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children who no longer had access to education because of the conflict and thinking I was the smartest girl alive (aren’t mamas the best!), the countless extensions requested and granted by professors so I could juggle work and school and life (and traveling lol) etc. etc. etc……! It’s all finally come to an end!! Alhamdulillah times a million!x

If you’re reading this and you know you’re one of the aforementioned, hugs and thankyous to you from the bottom of my heart because you helped in some form or another and were part of my journey x Even more so because I didn’t have mama and my family physically present with me for a majority of the struggle and I probably relied on y’all a lot more than you realize!x

The reason for this post though is that I was having a scroll through my photos and came across mamas card. and although I’ve messaged her about graduation she hasn’t messaged back yet (she’s at the cottage so I forgive her lol) but I kinda sorta found comfort in reading what she had written 7 years ago to this moment x minus the vegetarian stuff and being smarter lol but experiences, memories, and not forgetting who you are throughout the journey xx thanks for always being my number one fan mama x love you longtime xoxo


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