Sending snail mail postcards from a local post office in a foreign land seems to have fallen by the wayside. It has been replaced by texting, digital postcard companies, not to mention Facebook and Instagram.
What was a required activity on family vacations up until the digital age, is now a lost art.
To me, sending postcards is the best souvenir. It’s personal, it shows I’m thinking about the person, and it lasts. Who really needs another trinket with a city name on it, anyway?
Did you know, the earliest postcard was sent by Theodore Hook in 1840? He sent it to himself. It was a hand-colored postcard and included a Penny Black postage stamp.
Well, I’m following in Hook’s footsteps – sort of.
Sending postcards from around the world
We are traveling with one suitcase, so whatever we chose to remind us of our travels needed to take up zero space and weigh about the same.
It also needed to remind us of our favorite things about that place on the planet.
That’s when we decided to send postcards. We started with our sisters, asking each one to save the postcards and gift them back to us upon the completion of our journey.
Of course, we continue to add various family members and friends to the list, but they vary every month. The sisters, though, they get a postcard from every country.
What postcards mean to us and others
We’ve been sending a postcard a month since Oct. 2018. While it’s been fun for us, we’ve found it has been equally rewarding for those that receive them.
Here are just a few things we’ve heard in response to receiving our postcards.
“I think it’s really fun to see how long it takes to get mail from other countries. I also love that they don’t arrive in order.”
“It’s such a joy finding real mail from real people in my mailbox. It’s usually just bills and advertisements.”
“Your postcards are my little escape.”
“I love walking by my fridge and seeing your postcards. They always cheer me up.”
Sending the postcards is our way of bringing people along. My sister has two kids. I am hoping the postcards will help spark a sense of exploration and adventure in my niece and nephew. And my sister-in-law is as excited about our travels as we are.
Bottom line, postcards are personal. In a time when most communication is done through the computer, it is nice to have a more personal connection with our fellow humans.
Why we started sending more postcards
When people started asking us how they could support us for the work we put into our videos, we didn’t know how to answer. We thought about it and nothing felt right. As we started writing postcards from our first country, China, it became obvious.
That is when we started sending postcards to those that wanted to support us.
It’s not always easy.
First, we have to find postcards. So far, it’s been easy in most countries. What’s not so easy is finding unique postcards. Sometimes we are successful, and other times people get a total typical touristy postcard. We usually spend our entire time in a country scouting out the best place to buy a postcard.
Second, we have to sit down and write them. As our postcard sending list grows, we spend a little time each day writing them (usually with a glass of wine or a local cocktail) so it never becomes a chore. Eventually, we will have to close our list because it’s just the two of us. For now, there’s still room, if you are interested.
Then the fun begins. Finding the local post office and buying stamps can be interesting and often is – especially when a foreign language is involved.
For instance, in Guatemala, the country’s postal service is no longer operational. In the end, we had to send the postcards via DHL. The funny thing is they arrived faster than the postcards from Mexico which were mailed two months earlier – maybe that is not so surprising.
What is surprising, though, is how much we enjoy our postcard writing time. It is one more way we stay connected to those we love and care about back home.
Want a postcard from a different country every month?
If you are interested in getting a postcard from us every month, you can sign up by clicking here. Otherwise, we are giving away five postcards randomly to people who comment on one of our new Nomading About Weekly videos.
You can check them out and comment for a chance to win a postcard from us here:
- Nomading About Weekly Episode 1 – Baveno, Italy
- Nomading About Weekly Episode 2 – Touring all things Borromeo
Contest ends June 23, 2019.
Oldest postcard image via BBC.