The stack of postcards has been growing for close to 15 years. I’ve managed to keep them all in a box in one of the plastic drawer sets that have followed me around since college. When we bought our first house, I used a few dozen of them to create a couple framed collages that line our hallway, but the rest have just sat in a drawer. What was I to do with them?
I’m sure I’ve misplaced some over the years. If any were sent to me as a kid, either my parents threw them away or they’ve ended up in random boxes that are now under beds and tucked away in closets. But I’ve been steadfast in keeping any that have been sent to me since 2006. If you ever send me a postcard, it first spends some time on the fridge, so I can admire the image (and daydream of visiting wherever you’ve just been) or be reminded of and think of you. Then it usually ends up in the box in my office closet.
But now! Now, it will have a new destination!
As I organized the stack, sticky-tacking them one by one to the wall, assembling the puzzle, I had so much fun reading the messages and strolling down memory lane. I’ve been so lucky to have so many friends and family send me notes from their travels; frankly, it’s one of the reasons I always send postcards when I travel, hoping that I’ll get one in return one day 🙂
Most of the postcards are from my besties, whom I’ve inundated with mail over the years and have thankfully returned the favor, and from my aunt who lives in Hawaii and travels a lot. There are postcards from friends of friends, strangers, home exchange partners, one from my husband, and one from an ex-boyfriend’s wife. A few gathered from a nerdfighter postcard exchange, and a few from two different Kickstarters. I’ve started sending postcards to the cats so we have a souvenir from the places we visit, though nowadays it’s challenging to always find real postcards so even though I always travel with stamps, I now rely on the TouchNote app to send customized postcards from images on my phone. The two places that I have the MOST postcards from? Hawaii (thanks, Aunt Leigh!) and Harry Potter World in Orlando, which I don’t think surprises anyone. The furthest destination represented on the wall is Antarctica, and the closest to home is the Hermitage. Many come from places I’ve been, but most come from places I want to go. Here are a few of my favorites:
Checking the mail is a daily ritual in our house, something I always look forward to, in hopes of seeing something handwritten or the familiar name of a friend in the stack of junk mail and magazines. For years, I had to beg my dad, who travels internationally a LOT, to send me a postcard; he’s gotten better about it in recent years, and now uses TouchNote, as well, since it requires so little effort but still shows that he thought of me. I think that’s one of my favorite things about sending postcards (or snail mail in general): that it’s a simple and inexpensive way to show someone that you were thinking of them, to share a bit of your life with people you care about. Yeah, the pictures are pretty, and it’s fun to imagine yourself exploring the same places, but it’s a throwback form of communication that carries a little extra weight in this world of instant communication. One of my coworkers, who travels more than almost any person I know, always texts me about her adventures and sends me pictures, but she also always sends me a postcard, brightening the day that I receive it.
Do YOU send postcards when you travel? Do you enjoy receiving them? Let’s become postcard pals!