One of the things I really like about blogging is being able to personally communicate with people around the world who I normally would never encounter. The exchanges are pretty brief but over time I think I have a pretty good idea of who the person is and what their life is like and I think they have an idea of who I am.
Several years ago I joined Postcrossing, a free online service that matches up people to send and receive postcards. You don’t really exchange postcards with one person. You request an adddress from the site and they send it to you and once that party gets your card, then your address is given to somebody else, so it is kind of like a chain. By now I have sent and received about 217 cards over the several years I have participated.
You send a card and it takes about 10 days to a month for the party to get it and then it takes about that amount of time to get a card back. It works out that if I send a card once a week, then I get a card about once a week. Remember the days when getting the mail was fun? Postcrossing makes it fun again. I love getting the cards and reading the messages and making just another tiny little connection with somebody on the other side of the world.
The latest card I got is this one from somebody in Portugal. They wrote about tiles and their importance in Portugal and how they are used extensively in the buildings. I just love little tidbits of information like that. So far I have either sent or received cards from 43 different countries. It is a lot of fun. The site is free to use although you can donate if you want. The expensive part is buying the international stamps. Postcards can be as little or as much as you want to pay.
People are gracious about any card they get but in general they don’t like multi-photo postcards nor do they like advertising postcards. When you get a person’s address there is a link to a profile where they can state what their preferences are. I buy postcards a lot so I can generally get something close to what they like. So far it seems that the Oklahoma themed cards are the most popular especially those with a Native American theme such as maps showing where the original territories were.
So if you want to do a little armchair travelling Postcrossing may be for you.