Ho! ho! ho!
Been practising that the whole week so I hope it came out right :) Merry Christmas people! Hope everyone is having a splendid time. It's that time of the year.
It's also time for a new post. This time, I talked to one of the most ambitious guys I have met in Kenya's travel industry. He is not the I-want-to-build-a-large-house-near-the-park kind of guy though. He is one who is keen on showing everyone Kenya's hidden gems. For a long time, travel was mostly the preserve of the rich. With guys like Alex, that changes.
I asked him a couple of questions so here goes:
- Alex the drifter. What’s the edge?
My name is Alex Kamau. Founder of Lets Drift, a community of adventurous people. I love solving interesting problems, I am a believer, lover of classical music and really hate small talk.
2. Why “let’s drift”?
The idea was to take the roads less traveled, literally.
3. How did you get into hiking?
Drift was a mistake. On a lone night June last year, I was packing my stuff to go back home with a friend after failing terribly in a business venture. Grappling with fear from the sudden end of the project and clueless on what to do with our lives only a few months after campus. My friend Dan spattered desperately “ama we go drifting?” Almost in a moment of epiphany I answered: ‘Lets Drift’! The rest is history.
4. What are you most likely doing when you’re not hiking?
Graphic design, writing and reading.
5. Are you lucky or blessed, or both?
Blessed all the way.
6. What’s your favorite hike in Kenya?
Kijabe hills – the views there are just terrific!
7. Hardest day you’ve had on the job?
It happened earlier this year when I was guiding a group at Gatamaiyu and someone fell and broke their hand. I was confused and did not know what to do. Luckily enough, there was a nurse in the group and we administered first aid on her.
8. Biggest fulfilment from hiking?
Exploring and discovering new meaning from little known places.
9. Least favorite part about hiking?
Farewell hugs after a good hike.
10. How do you choose where to hike?
It starts with curiosity. I love discovering new places and experiences. 3 months ago I discovered a waterfall that is just a stone throw away from our upcountry home. I spent my childhood there but it was not until I visited as an adult that I realized how incredible and impactful the place was.
11. How have Kenyans received the idea of drifting?
Their response has been overwhelming, especially from young people seeking to do something meaningful with their spare time and those keen about their physical and mental well-being.
12. Where do you see yourself and the company in 5 years?
We will be the voice and frontier of affordable and people-centric experiences across the continent
13. What’s probably gonna happen in Kenya’s traveling + hiking scene in the next 5 years?
Travel will stop becoming a ‘rich folks’ thing. Most people are seeking for a well rounded life beyond the conventional pursuit of education, careers and having kids. Adventure will become the avenue of meeting interesting people and ideas.
14. Greatest lesson from hiking?
Life is an adventure, be open for surprises.
15. What do you never leave behind when hiking?
16. What’s your dream country?
17. Country you’ll probably never visit?
Not one. I would love to visit all countries provided the opportunity.
18. Are you a fighter?
19. To read a book or watch a movie?
Read a book
20. Would you still do it if you didn’t get paid for it?
21. Where would you live if you didn’t have to worry about money?
22. Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
I don’t have a single person in mind but everyday I get to meet new people, especially in my work as a hiking guide, who churn out some of the greatest insights that have propelled my personal growth and that of the drift community.
23. Worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it well”.
24. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
‘To be original, is not necessary to know something nobody else knows. It is necessary to believe something few other people believe”.
25. How did your parents react to your career choice?
My parents and siblings are very understanding and have been my number one supporters since the inception of drift.
26. What camera do you use?
27. What has surprised you the most about yourself since you started drifting?
That even though I consider myself an introvert I love meeting new people. This year alone I have drifted with more than 100 strangers!
28. Tea or coffee?
Soya. I am SDA, lol!
29. What would you like to be famous for?
My kindness and creativity.
30. Do you keep pets? Which ones?
31. What destination have you been to that you found to be overrated?
Mombasa. A friend took me there earlier this year and was missing home by the second day.
32. What are you currently reading?
“Steal like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. It’s a small book about creativity.
33. What’s the best thing you’ve ever bought?
An app I bought a few months ago for ksh 400 just to listen to podcasts.
34. How many photos have you taken?
Over half a million. Earlier when I was learning photography I had a goal to take 2000 photos every week. Now I don’t do as many but I will have around 500 in my camera weekly.
35. What’s the longest single trip journey you’ve taken?
West Pokot, mid this year. My friends Dan and Mercy invited me to join them on a 5 day trip. It was a random roadtrip to the north rift region in Elgeyo Marakwet County but we ended up in West Pokot. Were it not for time, we would have gone all the way to Turkana.
36. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Awkward, adventurous and Artistic
That’s not 5 but I’ll take it 🤣
37. Bungee jumping – to do or not to?
On my 2020 must do list.
38. Any regrets?
Wish I had started Drifting in my early 20s especially during my college years.
39. Best travel quote?
“Not all who wander are lost”.
40. A day without food or without internet?
A day without internet.
41. Are you usually early, late, or always on time?
Few times late but mostly on time
42. Who would win in a fight: me or you?
Hahaha. Drinking game you have it!
I know! He dodged this 🤣
43. Say anything.
I started reading your blog from late last year when was searching adventure ideas. To imagine that we would drift together and be interviewed by you is such an honor.
With the fear of sounding redundant, I asked Alex to own the space. His words >>
So we just launched this service at our end year dinner called #driftunlimited. The idea is to make adventure as affordable as possible for our community. For a subscription fee of ksh 1000, drifters can be able to attend more than 6 hikes per month for absolutely free! Previously drifters have been paying 1k for every freemium hike meaning that from next year they will be able to save up to 70% of their cash! With the monthly membership fee they will also be able to get 10% discount on all our premium experiences like Roadtrips, Campouts & and the Drift Potluck. The #driftunlimited is going to give flexibility in that you can show up anytime your schedule allows or postpone to the next one incase some thing comes up!
Hope that inspired you as much as it did me. I am genuinely excited about the future especially when it comes to Africans taking up travel and conquering the world. Let’s all make it our playground.
I wholeheartedly endorse Alex and Let’s Drift in general. Talk to him on +254718718930 and join him on one of his escapades. I have hiked twice with them and it was perfect. I also paid 1000 kes both times. Check out my IG hike highlights.
Merry Christmas and a fun-filled 2020. Thank you for being with me the whole year. Who would you like me to talk to next? Wanna talk to me? Drop me a message anywhere.
Drink and Know Kenya and Tunyumirwe are still on sale at the shop. Makes a great gift, BTW. Subscribe to the blog to always be on the loop.
Cheers to drifting!