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.
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.