When I was younger, my dad used to work abroad for a few days or weeks at a time, fairly often, and receiving postcards from him, was always very exciting. Although he stopped working away as frequently as I got older, my love for mail didn’t change and I would look forward to birthdays and Christmases which became the only occasions I would receive cards in the post.
At the very end of 2015, I impulsively bought and wrote 13 postcards; 12 to some of my closest friends and one to myself. I wanted to thank them for the year I’d had and wish them luck for 2016. I really liked this idea of reflecting and giving thanks at the end of each year so I repeated this at the end of 2016 and unexpectedly received a card myself from a friend whom I had given a card to the previous year.
Last October I met my first pen pal on Instagram. It has been amazing to get to know someone through cards and letters because every message I receive is a gift. I feel like letter writing creates an instant connection between people because you both depend on each other to reply to your postcards and keep the conversation going. We started off just sending one postcard at a time, which became several cards posted in envelopes and most recently, we tried sending packages. We write about what’s going on in our lives at that moment, our plans for the future and we ask questions so that we can get to know each other better.
Very recently, I discovered postcrossing, a community of people who send and receive postcards from all around the world. I signed up on the website where I was able to receive up to 5 addresses from various countries that I could send postcards to. I had to include a code somewhere on my postcard so that the receiver could register that it had arrived online, which means my address becomes available for others to send postcards to.
From what I understand you can send up to 5 postcards at a time, and for every one you send, you receive one. It isn’t like having a pen pal because you send to and receive from different people every time, but it’ll mean you’ll get more postcards and they’ll be from a greater variety of countries.
I’m very excited to try this different way of sending cards and have 4 postcards waiting to be sent off tomorrow morning to Japan, Russia, USA and Germany! I hope that joining the postcrossing community this year will be a success and it would be awesome to hear from anyone else wants to try it too! Snail mail is not a fast paced conversation; letters can get lost, packages can get damaged and each message can take up to a few weeks to arrive, but in the end, I think it makes it all the more rewarding when it does.