Postcards, Letters & Love Notes

Can you remember the last time you physically wrote a letter to someone?

I haven’t done such a thing in a long time, and this somewhat saddens me. Nowadays communication seems to be in the palm of our hand and at our fingertips. Email, text, phone calls… if we’re not face to face with the person, we’re probably getting a hold of them in one of those three ways. In terms of convenience, yes, those things are wonderful but what happened to good ol’ pen on paper, stamps, envelopes, and waiting to receive that piece of postage in the mail? Or getting a note passed to you from your long time crush? Moments like those are gold.

Let’s break it down:

Postcards are short and sweet. They get the point across in a couple lines, and you can make everyone jealous of where you are at that point in time.

Letters are more formal, and most of the time to friends or relatives, but perhaps more meaningful since you took the time to physically write rather than type on a keyboard or phone.

Love notes are sacred. All those romantic feelings no longer exist solely inside of you, but now also live on a piece of paper that you give to a significant other, or prospective significant other.

postcard

I will forever keep all of my love notes. There is something so raw and pure that goes into pouring the heart out, filling the empty-lined space with feelings that don’t show face all too often. Holding on to the ones received can later act as a time machine, transporting us back to a love we once had, or still might be holding on to. If the feelings still burn, or may have slowly drifted away, a good memory or two can always be gained from re-visiting old love letters.

stamps

I’ve always viewed physically writing something out as somewhat therapeutic. Sometimes it’s easier for me to fully translate a thought in my head via paper rather than spoken word. The things I want to say have a way of getting lost more often than not on their journey out of my mouth. This is frustrating when things then get taken out of context, or don’t hold the power I truly want them to have. This is my own burden to carry, but maybe some of you can relate.

There’s a deep side to love notes and letters, but more simply, letter writing is fun. 

I had a pen pal from Japan back in middle school. It was assigned as a class project, and every week, I would send and receive a letter that was postmarked Japan. We’d share daily happenings with each other, and sometimes we’d include little trinkets along with the letters. Writing to someone I had never met before who lives such a culturally different life across the globe was fascinating. Thinking back to that time inspired me to try a little experiment, and maybe some of you will follow suit:

I’m picking a place, finding an address, and sending a postcard.

The place is one that I’ve been eager to visit for quite some time now; Australia.

The address though… totally random, although Google maps helped me out a little…

australia

Today, I’m sticking that postcard in the mail, and waiting to see what happens. I have no idea who is going to receive my message, or if i’ll get anything back. It’s all up to that person on the other end.

let14s

My hopes are to spark conversation, maybe gain a new friendship, and gain some local knowledge of the country I’ve longed to travel to. If I don’t hear anything back, I’ll never know who’s mailbox my postcard ended up in, and I’ll just have to assume they liked the pretty picture of Philadelphia on the front. That’s part of the fun though. It’s a mystery.

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If you want to join me on this experiment, pick a place you’re going to send a postcard to, and let us know about it in the comments!

Maybe it’s a country you’ve always wanted to visit, like me. Or maybe it’s to a city that holds a special place in your heart, and the line you drop in the mail is simply letting someone know how much you love it.  If a connection is made, then there’s reason to hold onto that place a little tighter.

Pick an address, find a stamp, and send that “Hello” out into the world. Now all that’s left to do is cross your fingers and wait for something back.post card

More inspiring posts from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Comments

  1. One of my must-dos while traveling is to send my bestest gals postcards. We’ve made it a tradition within ourselves to always write to one another when we’re away so we have quite a collection now! It’s a great way to remember the moments.

    I think this experiment is great; I’ve always wanted to have a penpal but I’ve never known how, and this could be my very answer! I hope it goes well for you, Jana!

  2. If anyone is interested in getting a penpal check out Reddit! Reddit has a sub, r/penpals where you can find someone to exchange letters with. I have found a couple great pen pals on there!

  3. I’ve been completely persuaded by this idea. It’s so romantic and nostalgic. Not only that, but it allows you the opportunity to experience another person or culture without buying a plane ticket.

    I’m gonna grab me a postcard tomorrow morning and give it a go. Thanks for this post and I’d love a follow- up post if anything comes of it!

    Tara :)

    http://www.iamtp.com

  4. So much love for this post! I love receiving letters, I get super excited.
    I always loved letters and postcards but unfortunately I don’t have anyone to write for. Also, I don’t use email, text or phone calls as much.

    I think I’m joining you on this experiment. Thank you for inspiring me :)

    Lots of hugs, A
    myvolatilelove.blogspot.com

  5. You totally nailed the whole love notes from middle school crushes. Those things were the BEST. I kind of feel bad for the emoji-based love texts I’m sure the kids are getting nowadays… they just aren’t the same! Also… kind of wishing I had a penpal now!

  6. I fell completely head over heels in love with this post. I just have one problem. What do I say to a mystery person?

  7. I love sending postcards. I try to do it always when I’m traveling. I also love writing letters, but nowdays I don’t do it that much. When I was a child I remember when we used to have penpals :DD I had couple of them too and I loved writing letters to them.

  8. This sounds like postcrossing! Postcrossing has been my hobby for about two years now and I have sent and received a lot of postcards from different parts of the globe. There’s a site (postcrossing.com) and you get to send to other users and completely different people get to send to you!

    http://teapat.blogspot.com

  9. This blog post could very well be about me. I also had a pen pal while in grade school who was also Japanese! I also love letters and cards, etc.. I even appreciate the junk mail because it is a sign of my existence. I saw a movie once of an elderly gentleman that wrote random letters of encouragement to people he did not know. It was a beautiful movie. Very similar to your endeavors here. I need to do this too. Once a month to set aside time to write a random letter of appreciation and/or encouragement to an unmet friend. How wonderful if I should ever receive such a letter! Thanks for the encouragement!

  10. Such a beautiful post. I like to write as much as possible – namely in my journal. But I know what you mean about writing to someone, particularly back and forth, sharing in your experiences.

    And I’m moving to Australia on Jan 14th for a year – to start off with at least. So if you want a pen pal… I’d be more than happy to oblige as someone who has always loved the written word, more than the digital one… x

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  12. Hello, If somebody here want to have a pen pal pls send me a postcard or maybe a letter. I love to write!! and I want to have a pen pal too, here It’s my e-mail. mimi-fern@hotmail.com send me an email first and I will send my address to you.

  13. I just came across your blog while doing research on the difference between receiving real letters verses email. Lovely post! I just put out a Young Adult novella (it was released on January 29th) called Passing Notes. A large part of the plot involves a teenage boy learning how to write a love letter, by hand, in cursive, and putting it in the real mail to impress a girl. I think you might enjoy it. It’s available at Amazon

  14. Great idea! I’m going to give it a shot. Quick note to USA folks about international postage: it doesn’t matter if it’s a post card it’s still going to cost $1.15 international stamps not the $0.34 post card stamps, so you might want to write a small letter and include a post card in the envelope, or put the post card in an envelope since you’ll be paying the same amount.

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