I love to send postcards! They are a fun slice of culture to share with others, whether you’re on vacation, corresponding with someone, or part of an exchange. These are just a few great reasons to send postcards.
Document a Trip With a Postcard
When I spent a summer touring through Europe, I sent myself a postcard each day. It started because I fell down the stairs at Tower Bridge in London on my first day and broke my camera so I wasn’t sure if it was actually going to work during my trip. This was back in 2000 and it wasn’t a digital camera and I didn’t have a week to have a roll of film developed to check it out. So, just in case, I started the tradition of purchasing a post card every day during my 9.5 week trip.
I actually purchased 2 identical cards. On one I wrote what I had done that day, and then sent it to myself. This meant that I also had a postage stamp and postmark on each card, too. When I arrived back at home I included these cards in my travel scrapbook. I place the 2 cards together – one showing the image, and the other showing what I’d written. This came in very handy as a mini diary of my once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
It was also interesting to see how long it took for postcards posted in different countries to arrive. Russian postcards took several weeks, while the longest time went to a card sent from Pisa at about 3 months! As a side-note, my camera did work and I had photos to develop when I arrived home, but I loved the postcard travel project.
I continued with this tradition when I travelled in Japan, too. It was interesting that my postcards sent from China arrived in Canada, but not one postcard sent to Japan arrived, so unfortunately, I don’t have a postcard record of that trip, although I do have photos.
The tradition still continues with my children sending themselves postcards so they can re-live a day-trip or a trip abroad when they return home and a postcard arrives for them – they love it!
Life is Busy
When life is too busy to send a big and detailed letter to pen-pals, sometimes a post card is just the thing to stay in touch! Over the past year I have found that I haven’t had much time to sit and write out a full letter, but I want my friends and pen-pals to know I am still thinking about them, so I have started to send occasional postcards during the year with a brief update. This way they have something in their postbox, as well as a picture of our area.
Choosing just the right postcard to send to someone is a whole thing itself. Flipping through the postcards we have on hand, seeing which one will suit the recipient’s personality and interests best. Then it’s time to choose which postage stamps to add to the card.
Once this is done, then we can decorate the postcard with cute washi tape and stickers.
Finally, it’s time to write a little something on the postcard. It might be about a trip to the place that is shown on the card, about something in current events, the weather, what we’re watching on TV, crafts we’re working on, or asking about a particular part of their life we’re interested in knowing more about.
Sending postcards is a good way to begin a cultural exchange, and we’ve done this several times. It usually begins with an exchange through Postcrossing, and then moves on from there. We post off little packets of different things.
Examples may be travel brochures, flags, newspaper clippings, recipes, traditional fabric, bookmarks, postage stamps, train tickets, crafts or paintings, etc.
In one case, we met up with Olga when she was in the country to advance her English skills in a university program.
Sometimes, these simple exchanges grow into long friendships and continue. We have been corresponding with another homeschooling family for a few years and every package is eagerly anticipated.
Exchanging postcards is a great way for children to become more diligent in their handwriting, as well as becoming familiar with different writing styles from around the world. You can take this a step further by finding out more about the area where a postcard has been sent from. Look it up on a map, research it on the internet to see other things that are in the area. Read a book that is set in the area.
Most of all, sending and receiving postcards is fun! You never know when one will appear in your mailbox. Remember, postcards aren’t just for holidays anymore!
Sending postcards is a fun way to share a slice of culture with others or to just send a quick note to friends and loved ones. Postcards are a great way to spread a little bit of culture without having to travel.