My Experience with Postcrossing: Happiness From Strangers
April 3, 2019
Hey hey hello!
I thought long and hard about what would make a good topic for this first official post. So many things to write about! However, after a recent conversation with a friend, a good idea came to mind. What could be better than to talk about my little happiness in the form of a rectangle paper: Postcards!
Love for the letters
My fondness for a physical mail/card goes way back to when I was a small child. I remember a time when I would spend hours writing and preparing Aidil Fitri greeting cards for my relatives and friends. It was an activity I looked most forward to every year during Ramadhan. There was also a time when I had pen-pals. I would write to them about my day and we would exchange letters filled with colorful pen writings (it was a thing back then) and cute stickers.
However, as time goes by, the number of letters and cards exchanged also dwindled. Greeting cards fell out of favor and pen-pals required too much energy to be maintained. Even my love for handwritten cards could not withstand the test of time and the digital era. At least that was the scenario until a few years ago when I discovered postcards.
I stumbled upon Postcrossing back in 2015, all thanks to a friend after I saw her sharing some beautiful postcards on her social media. It was just a friendly question back then, but in retrospect was probably one of the best things I have ever done. So I thought I should return the favor and spread the words to those who may still be unaware of the existence of this wonderful community.
What is Postcrossing?
To put things simply, it is a platform that allows anyone to send and receive postcards from across the globe. The fun part is that you would not know from who or where will the postcards be coming. The idea is quite simple but brilliant. Postcrossing works on the concept of “send one, receive one”. Here are the steps:
Register (it’s free!). You can choose to let out as much or as little information as you would prefer. The single most important thing is to have a valid mailing address (obviously).
Write a profile. This step is optional, but it would be a great help to other members if they know a little bit about you so that they can tailor their cards to your preference.
Start writing! Initially, a new member can send up to 5 postcards in one go. Just click on “send a postcard” and a random address will pop up, together with a Postcard ID.
And, that’s it! Now all you need to do is head to the nearest post office to send the postcards, and let the magic happen.
Once the receiver registers the postcard using that ID you have written, you can start expecting happy mails in your mailbox too! Just make sure to register the postcard as soon as possible once you received it so that the sender will get his/her turn to receive more postcards. It is like a chain of all good happy reactions really 😉
Now, how does that sound? It is quite simple and hassle-free, but if you find that you have more questions, feel free to check out Postcrossing F.A.Q. I can assure that you would find most if not all the answers there.
So, what’s my personal take on Postcrossing?
That it is lightweight and sparks joy. I only need to spend a good hour or so writing the postcards, and sending them all in one go. Then all that is left is just to wait while I go about my life. I find that to have a postcard waiting for me at the end of a long and tiring day is such a pleasant surprise and would instantly make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
That it requires a very minimal cost. What’s not to love when something you enjoy doesn’t put a hole in your pocket right? I only need to buy postcards and stamps, and that’s about it. So long as we remember to send only things that we ourselves would like to receive, then all postcards are surely appreciated. Good energy sent is good energy received.
The STAMPS that comes with each postcard. As much as each postcard tells a story, the stamps are powerful conveyors of history and knowledge too. Not to mention they are awfully pretty and cute!
On the other hand, there is less love for…
Missing postcards. I know, I know, that has to be the saddest thing ever. Sometimes despite our best effort, our postcards may not make it through to the other party. This could mean two things: A) postcard has gotten lost in the sea, or B) someone ate it. Just kidding. The receiver has somehow forgotten to register our card (VERY rare, though it can happen). In this case, we can try to send an email to the person to ask whether our postcard has been received.
Safety issues (?). Some of us may have reservations about having our mailing address up and available for strangers, and that is absolutely understandable. Postcrossing has been very particular about safety and has taken a lot of precautionary measures to keep our data confidential. Therefore, as long as we stick to the rules (i.e. not to share ANY personal details at any time), then we should be pretty secured. I personally have not encountered any unfavorable events from this community thus far.
All in all my experience with Postcrossing has been nothing but fabulous. There’s just something so exciting about receiving an anonymous mail from a stranger who shares the same passion as you. What more it may come from a place you’ve never heard of or a place you’ve always wanted to go to. Call it fate!
If this is the first time you’ve heard of Postcrossing, be sure to check it out and give yourself a try 🙂
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect”
– Anais Nin
How was YOUR experience with Postcrossing? We would love to hear your take on the postcard journey too. Let us know in the comments below!