Mailbox Mondays!

Do you have an obsession you spend far too much time over, and then feel remorseful about afterwards? Maybe a guilty indulgence that brings you more joyful raptures than you would care to admit to a friend? Or maybe just a “perfectly normal” addiction (sure) that’s not really an addiction because you totally have a grip on how crazy it gets (suuure).

Of course you do – everyone does. Well, my cue for crazy comes from postcards. Postcards?, you ask, confused. Followed by: (If you’re above 30) You mean those things that cousins on vacation used to send, instead of getting me proper souvenir-gifts? (Or if you’re under 30) You mean those things nobody sends anymore? With real stamps and all?

There'll always be food

The very same, yes.

My affection for the near-forgotten picture postcard goes a long way back. For the lazy person I am, I have always – surprisingly – loved the elaborate ritual of hunting down lone postcard-selling shops in places to which I travelled, then hunting down post offices where I could find stamps to affix on the card before posting it to myself. For me, it’s one thing to look at pictures of past travels; quite another to actually hold a card that not only shows that place I loved, but was also written, stamped and posted under that sun.

Things got simpler the day I discovered an online community of fellow postcard-nuts called Postcrossing and since then there’s been no freakin’ account of the time and effort I’ve spent on my damned postcard collection, exchanging cards with people from places as far away as Chile and Costa Rica, as close as Pakistan and Bhutan, and as ‘recently discovered’ (er, by me on the world map – geography was never my strong point at school) as Lesotho and Guernsey. Only, the intent has changed. I no longer have postcards only of places I’ve visited myself. I now have shoe-boxes full of little glimpses of places that I know I want to visit some day.

I received this postcard from an American soldier serving in Afghanistan:

photo 1

And this from a friend who was awesome enough to post me a card from the Santa Claus Village in Finland:

Santa Claus Village

Rovaniemi in Lappland

Boyfriend pestered some Brazilian friends of his to send me this one from Rio:

Brazil

Chile was on my bucket list even before my mailbox was hit by stunners like these:

photo 4

Parinacota Volcano, Chile

And this one below actually put British Columbia on the list, since I’d never considered the thought earlier:

British Columbia

Kootenay Lake in Nelson, B.C., Canada

This lady in my mailbox brought back memories of a heady flamenco dance in a dim-lit club one night in Barcelona:

photo 3

Turkey, ah – only a big sigh really defines you, never mind the weather-beaten card you sent my way.

Turkey

Artist’s impression of the Blue Mosque and Obelisque, Istanbul, in the 19th century

Connections from college time were leveraged with a great sense of purpose for this rare post from Lesotho:

Lesotho

And Russia, for some inexplicable reason, never ceases to send a thrill of excitement through me.

photo 2

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

One day in 2015, I will sit down cross-legged on the floor of my room, spread all my hundreds of postcards around me, close my eyes and pick ONE card.

And within six months, I promise, I’ll be off to that place, no matter where in the damn world it takes me. :-)

28 thoughts on “Mailbox Mondays!

  1. What a nice quaint way to describe your manic hobby :)
    Very well written as always, you make magic with words! I’m sure this post will pull in a lot of new postcard fans into the web that is postcrossing!
    And I absolutely love your last line… what a phenomenal, fun, crazy and adventurous idea to let the cards make the decision for you and challenge you!

    Looking forward to more posts, more cards and more travels!

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  2. You’ve taken this to a whole new level! :) I used to collect them once (and am still tempted occasionally) but I was very picky about them! I have a cardboard box or two of lovely memories. I hardly dare look at Postcrossing for fear another addiction sets in :(

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  3. Post crossing! I remember a fellow travel blogger suggested that to me and I found it super interesting. I thought I’d try that and then it slipped off my mind — completely.
    This sounds like a whole lot of fun.
    All the best for that postcard-inspired trip. I’m excited for you. I’ll come by and read your travel story.
    Nice blog here. I think I’ll be a regular here. :)

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  4. I love them too. And I love the stamps which speed them on their way as well. As far as obsessions go, there are much, much worse ones. And they take up a great deal less room than books – which are one of my addictions.

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    • Postcards are definitely easier to store than books. My books spill out from the bookcases in my house, wedge themselves between sofa cushions, tumble down stairs, hide themselves in unexpected corners, and I can never find space enough to fit them all in securely. On the brighter side, that means there’s always a book at hand, no matter which part of the house I’ve planted myself in. :)

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  5. Ami, I love this obsession of yours. We love postcards too, the virtual kind, hence our name:) This is a nice reminder that we’ll need to send out real ones on our RTW trip. Gordon collects vintage and antique postcards and enjoys seeking them out in our travels. – Ginette

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