I’ve always been interested to send letters since I was a kid. The curiousity grew from seeing rubik sabahat pena (penpals) on Bobo, a kid’s magazine that my mother bought for me. But I had to wait until I was in junior high school to actually start sending letters. I don’t know about you but finding a new letter on the mailbox is like a nice little surprise for me. Nothing beats the thrill of opening the mailbox and finding a letter, written and addressed just for me.
I still remember when my dad’s friend sent a postcard from LA and I was so excited to read it and removed the stamp. I used to collect it, even though I wasn’t really a philately. To me, it’s quite saddening that years after that, letters carried by conventional postal service seemed to be left behind and replaced with modern technology like e-mail. Even nowadays, the post office staffs seem to find it weird every time I want to buy a stamp for my postcard, let alone seeing a fully decorated envelope that I use to send a letter to my penpal.
Two years ago when I was hit by depression, I stayed away from some of my friends in real life and chose to engross myself in any activity –whatever that didn’t have anything to do with talking to my friends in real life– to keep my mind off the pain. So I started writing this blog, decorating my DIY planner, and writing letters and postcards again. Writing letters was and always will be very special to me for it always evokes pleasant feelings. And receiving a letter, especially a handwritten one, never fails to make me feel special in a way that I cannot explain. There’s something so personal and thoughtful about them. I mean, writing a letter takes time and shows effort that the sender makes in order to send them. What’s not to love about that? Where are these splendid treasures in the 21st century?
To find a penpal, I usually use penpalsnow and interpals. Or sometimes I just type “penpals” on Twitter’s explore tab to find much if not some tweets about people looking for penpals. I got a new penpal from Turkey by doing that trick. And for sending postcards, I signed myself up on postcrossing. If you haven’t heard it, postcrossing is a postcard exchange project that invites everyone to send and receive postcards from random places in the world. Real postcards with stamps on it! The idea is simple: for each postcard you send, you will receive one back from a random postcrosser from somewhere in the world. If this little information already sold you, the next thing you should do is to check out their website and sign yourself up. I’ve been a proud member of that community since January 2016. And I’ve received postcards from various countries, even from faraway countries whose name I’ve never heard before.
To me, the fun part of postcrossing is we don’t know who will send a postcard to us, so again it’s like a nice little surprise every time you find out that the postcard you’re reading apparently have travelled thousand miles away before it finally arrived at your mailbox. Last Christmas I received a lovely postcard from Belarus, which is 6,097 miles away from Indonesia. I never travelled that far in my life. Actually, I never really travelled to anywhere in my life. But through these letters and postcards, I can “meet” people whom I might not have the chance to meet in real life. I can meet someone with the same interest as me. I’m so grateful for every letters and postcards that I received for it has helped me to feel happy again. It’s so uplifting to support another and getting supported in return.
All of the pictures above were taken last year. Let me know if any of you are also a fan of postcrossing and snailmail! Maybe I can send you a postcard on your birthday 😉 ❤