It’s In the Mail

In 1987, I made friends with a boy while our families were vacationing on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.  Maintaining a friendship in the age before email and texting required effort, but we stayed in touch all through the school year, sending letters and pictures, counting the seconds until we would be back at the beach.

More than 20 years later, I’m still in touch with my friend, most of my correspondence  to him via postcards.  In 23 years, I’ve sent him over 300 postcards, and he takes great pleasure in teasing me about my sending him mail from such far-flung places as Istanbul and Mitchell, South Dakota–home of the Corn Palace!

I love sending and receiving mail–especially postcards–so is it any wonder that I’m totally smitten with this website a friend mentioned called Postcrossing.  The idea is simple.  Sign up (for free) and you will receive a name, address, and profile of another member.  Post a card to the person and once your card arrives, another random member will send a postcard to you.

The website has a nifty tracking program that shows how many miles your card traveled, the recipient registers the card (you write an ID number on each card), and can upload a photo of the card, too.  I was a bit hesitant at first to send a postcard to a total stranger–what would I write?-but found it easy to introduce myself and tell a bit about my life here in New Jersey.

To date, I’ve mailed out seven postcards–one to Taiwan, China, Belarus, Spain, Australia, Russia, and Latvia.  I’m waiting to receive my first card back, and four of my seven cards are still traveling.

A page shot of my postcard on a recipient's wall.

This might be a fun summer idea for those of you with children–writing lessons and geography skills all wrapped up in a class on different cultures!  Just make sure to include in your profile that you are writing as a family project and would like postcards showing landmarks, etc.  This has the potential to be great fun.  Or, if you’re not into writing to strangers, you can send me a postcard and I’ll write back to your kiddos!

*I had no problem giving out my address because I keep a post office box for blog and internet-related mail.

19 Comments

  • At 2010.06.16 22:40, softdrink said:

    Very cool…although it also looks a little dangerous. I’d be wanting to visit all of the places I was getting postcards from!

    • At 2010.06.17 07:55, Beth F said:

      This is a very cool idea! I wonder if my nephews know about this?
      .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: Day for Night by Frederick Reiken =-.

      • At 2010.06.17 09:18, Lex said:

        That’s quite interesting actually. It’s a very creative idea, kudos to the makers! I think it could be quite addicting!
        .-= Lex´s last blog ..Size Doesn’t Matter – A Review =-.

        • At 2010.06.17 10:34, bybee said:

          This looks like so much fun…I’ve got tons of Korean postcards I’d love to share.
          .-= bybee´s last blog ..What A Mom Wants: The Plump Pig =-.

          • At 2010.06.17 12:24, avisannschild said:

            This is the second time I’ve heard about this site in the last two days. It sounds like lots of fun!
            .-= avisannschild´s last blog ..Similar Covers: Bird’s Nests =-.

            • At 2010.06.17 13:17, vivienne said:

              This does sound like an interesting site. I will have to go check it out.
              .-= vivienne´s last blog ..Wuthering Wednesday – Bring out the Bunting! =-.

              • At 2010.06.17 14:49, g said:

                LOVE IT. can’t wait til little guy is old enough to enjoy it. i miss your postcards!

                • At 2010.06.17 21:08, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

                  i never remember your zip code and you MOVE too much. lol. how’s that adorable honorary nephew of mine???

                • At 2010.06.17 16:18, Kari said:

                  This is awesome! Thanks for sharing—I just signed up!
                  .-= Kari´s last blog ..In Conclusion: Another graphic journey to France =-.

                  • At 2010.06.17 19:02, Rambleicious said:

                    This is such a cool idea! I think I am going pick some postcards and join! 😀
                    .-= Rambleicious´s last blog ..Book, Interrupted =-.

                    • At 2010.06.17 20:44, Kathleen said:

                      This is such a cool idea. I’d be a horrible participant though since I still owe people letters back from Christmas time!

                      • At 2010.06.18 00:02, Lisa said:

                        That is a great idea for kids. How cool that it is world wide!
                        .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Thrity Thursdays or "The Space Between Us" Readalong =-.

                        • At 2010.06.18 21:33, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                          I think J. Kaye used to do this. Please share some of the postcards you receive with us!

                          • At 2010.06.18 21:48, Jenners said:

                            I love stuff like this! My friend Michael5000 (who has a blog) has been sending me postcards lately from his “Most Boring Postcard” collection.
                            .-= Jenners´s last blog ..SM5S: "The Host" by Stephenie Meyer =-.

                            • At 2010.06.19 22:28, Jennifer said:

                              My husband and I did this a few years back… and it’s funny you mention it here, because I was just telling him it would be fun to do again with our 5 year old. 😀

                              • At 2010.06.21 11:55, Meg said:

                                What a fun idea! I love postcards, too, and just sent some while at the beach in N.C. If I’d seen this post before I left, I would have gotten some extras to send out! Or sent one to YOU! 🙂
                                .-= Meg´s last blog ..Back from the beach, stuffed lobsters and rejoining the Internet =-.

                                • At 2010.06.22 11:24, dw said:

                                  i love getting postcards! When my friends go on vacation they’ll always ask me what I want from so and so and i always tell them to send me a postcard.
                                  .-= dw´s last blog ..Review: Wrong =-.

                                  • At 2010.06.25 10:41, Dishy said:

                                    Too cool! What an awesome idea. I always ask friends to send me a postcard, especially when they go abroad. Not sure I’m into corresponding w/ total strangers – at least where my kids are concerned – but I’d LOOOVE you to send them a postcard Nat!! They’d be thrilled. And I know they’d adore selecting one to send you back.
                                    .-= Dishy´s last blog ..Dress Quest 2010 =-.

                                    • At 2010.08.03 09:33, Postcards from far away « write meg! said:

                                      […] site I recently discovered after Nat’s mention at Book, Line, and Sinker gives me another way to break out the ol’ writing skills — […]

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