Postcard Pals

While I’ve been a part of various penpal sites and penpal groups in Facebook I’ve read many MANY times that people don’t really care about postcard pals.

“There’s Postcrossing/tags/swaps if I want to send and receive postcards!”
“That’s just a waste of money!”
“You could never get close by just sending postcards./Letters are more personal.”

I’ve heard many excuses why people say it’s crap and why they won’t even give it a chance. Before I got contacted and asked whether I’d like to be postcard pals I didn’t even know that there could be a way to communicate just by sending postcards that it isn’t just “Hi, how are you? The weather in here is nice. School keeps me busy, bye!” I actually feel quite close to my postcard pals and we talk about everything that comes to mind.

Sent to my Russian postcard pal

Sent to my Russian postcard pal

My first postcard pals were from Netherlands, Thailand and China. From those three I only exchange postcards with the Chinese girl, the two others dropped me or just disappeared… A shame since I did exchange cards with the Dutch girl for 2 or 3 years, even during the time she was working as an au pair in Australia. We usually sent postcards in an envelope as I could easily fill 3 to 6 postcards while writing to her but with the other two I send the cards “naked” (written and stamped).

At the moment I have at least 9 active postcard pals from Great Britain, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, China, Hong Kong and Lithuania. I love all of them and sending and receiving cards from them usually makes my day. For example this Tuesday I received envelopes from Japanese and Russian pals.

Postcard pal with similar interests - everything cute and Asian. AND cats :)

Postcard pal with similar interests – everything cute and Asian. AND cats 🙂

We exchange fantasy/illustration/Moomin postcards and usually add something small with those. And use pretty stamps :3

We exchange fantasy/illustration/Moomin postcards and usually add something small with those. And use pretty stamps :3

LOVE the cards and the small extras I receive 🙂 And as the postcards are sent in envelopes there’s more space to write and to write in depth without the worry of someone else reading the back of the card 🙂 I don’t personally worry about these facts but some do..

I’m personally just as open about my feelings and experiences no matter whether the postcard is in an envelope or naked. Why worry over someone reading the back of the card? Thanks to Postcrossing there are thousands and thousands of postcards travelling all over the world all the time, not to mention soon coming Christmas season. No one has the time to read all the postcards so why worry too much? 🙂

Me and my other Japanese penpal send two cards at a time, naked, and talk about current events. For example in her latest postcards we talked about koyo and the 2020 Olympics that are going to be held in Tokyo. Why worry over the fact that someone might read the cards? Don’t write anything too personal to those if you don’t want to, it’s that simple 🙂

I personally prefer postcard pals over Postcrossing for many reasons, the tree most important reasons for me are…

1) You get to know the person a lot better and she/he won’t be just a stranger who sends you one card and that’s it.
2) You get cards that you actually like. Your pals get to know you and what you like and send cards accordingly to that. You can also agree what kind of cards you send to each other, for example my Japanese pals both send me illustrations by Japanese artists I love (SHU and Kaori Wakamatsu for example). In exchange I send whatever they want; Garfield, Looney Tunes or Moomin cards or even Linda Peltola‘s illustrations.
3) The stamps are AMAZING.

Japanese and Hong Kongese stamps.

Japanese and Hong Kongese stamps

My pals know that I love stamps and they mostly use the prettiest/newest/rarest stamps they can find – and I do the same for them.

I’ve met most of my postcard pals in Postcrossing or Postcrossing forums but Lithuanian girl found me thanks to one of the swaps in Swap-bot over a year ago, the Malaysian pal I got thanks to the fact that we had been reading each others’ blogs for a while and one of the Japanese pals found me thanks to my swap ad in Lettersets.com.

Writing postcards is usually faster than writing a letter so I tend to reply to postcard pals a lot quicker – I can write the cards between classes, during a bus trip home or even before I go to bed. Letters take me hours and hours (sometimes days) to write depending on the length of the letter I’ve received but 2 postcards are ready to be sent in less than 30 minutes 🙂

I even exchange cards with my best friend since we live hundreds of kilometers apart! I send her empty cards that I want her to fill and send back to me and she sends me her empty cards to be filled 🙂 Both get exactly the cards we want to. And to be honest my “I NEED these cards written” pile is a lot bigger than my “postcards to send” 🙂 This because I LOVE and collect postcards but I want those to be written before I add those to my collections 🙂

Illustrations and a Masking tape from Japan

Illustrations and a Masking tape from Japan

2 postcards from Japan (left) and 2 from Hong Kong (right)

2 postcards from Japan (left) and 2 from Hong Kong (right)

Now I need to go and write a couple of postcards to my pals 🙂
Does anyone else have postcard pals or do you think it’s just a waste of money/stamps/pretty postcards? 🙂

-Kristiina

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27 thoughts on “Postcard Pals

  1. I tried to have “postcard friends” too, but somehow it doesn’t work for me. I might try to send a few cards in an envelope though. A waste of money… as we don’t have special postcard stamps and we can send up to 50 gr. with one stamp, yes, I prefer envelopes filled with cards instead of sending just one naked. I still send cards written and stamped though, but not a lot.

    • We don’t have special postcard stamps in Finland either, one 1st class stamp is used to send a postcard or an envelope up to 20g all over the world..
      I don’t see it as a waste of money to send postcards naked but I’m a bit worried over the images as Finnish sorting machines are known to destroy postcards and envelopes :S That’s why I prefer sending postcards in an envelope.. But everyone has their preferences 🙂

  2. I don’t really have special postcard pals, but I do have a few friends I exchange postcards with from time to time. Online friends sending me postcards, or other people I know personally who also send me postcards, when they go on holiday or for birthdays and christmas and things like that…

    And I kinda think the same about postcrossing, sometimes I’m sad that I won’t ever hear again from the person who sent me a card through postcrossing…there are people with whom I would like to stay in contact, but most don’t want that, and I’ve tried to contact some through the postcrossing page, but they didn’t really reply back…:(
    And I prefer postcards in envelopes too…but most cards sent through postcrossing are without envelopes…

    • I wish I had some friends who’d send me cards now and then just for the heck of it but no.. So in a way I’m a bit jealous of you!

      In Postcrossing Forums it’s easier to meet people and start talking to them 🙂 I actually found one of my Japanese postcard pals that way and the Russian girl by seeing her favourite one of my sent cards 🙂 I asked her if she’d like the same card and many similar and she said yes 🙂 There have been many who didn’t reply but I won’t let it get me down 🙂

      • Yeah…it’s cool when friends think of you when they go on holiday or somewhere and just send you a card. Just like two days ago or so I got a postcard from a friend sent from Portugal. 🙂 Was a nice surprise 🙂
        You don’t have any reason to be jealous though, with all those penfriends and postcard pals etc that you have…you get way more cool cards and other things that I get…

        I tried to meet people in the postcrossing forums, but either I don’t visit there often enough or I’ve picked the wrong people… One person I’ve contacted from some tag topic, said we could exchange postcards, but then after I sent her a postcard, she disappeared from the forum for like over a month, and then I kinda had given up on her again, because she hadn’t even logged into the forum. And some while ago I got a postcard from her again…so now I’m not quite sure if that means that she still wants to exchange cards…or if she’s also that kind of person who stops after just a few cards…
        Maybe I should try again though with others…I’ll see.

      • I hate the fact that I usually need to remind people sending me a postcard whenever they go abroad.. I think my BFF would remember to send me a card even if she wasn’t reminded and my mum has learned that I WANT postcards from her trips (because she wants me to send her postcards from every city I visit) and probably my childhood friend but that’s it.. 😦 I don’t like to received city views via postcrossing (except of London/New York/Paris/Berlin) but if those are from pals/friends I LOVE those.. 🙂 Go figure 😛

        Maybe you should give the person another chance? :/ I’d try once again if she was willing to exchange postcards while also trying to look for other people.. 🙂

      • Yeah…some people need to be reminded to send out cards…and some don’t do it even though you ask them to…Like my brother, he thinks it’s not necessary to send cards…that he’ll be home again faster than the card arrives…
        When I go somewhere, I take the addresses of friends with me and send postcards to them 🙂 And some do the same for me then…others don’t. And if I’m not going anywhere, then I send christmas and birthday cards often.

        Yeah..I guess receiving cards from friends is different…cause you know they send you cards because they thought of you…not because they “have to” send cards or something like that…

        Yeah, I think I’ll probably try again, if I can get myself to pick a nice card for her and mail it..

  3. Amazing post and beautiful postcards! 🙂

    I would love to have a postcard pal, but the choice of postcards available in India is very limited. While I can send tons of India view cards, it is very difficult for me to send beautiful illustrated ones. Of course, I can always order them from some online stores, but the shipping to India is insane -_- So for now I am stuck with Postcrossing and Instagram swaps to connect with people via postcards 🙂

    • Thank you<3 🙂

      I think people would actually love receiving cards from India 🙂 At least I would 😀 I had an Indian postcard pal for a while and I LOVED the card he sent me 🙂 Usually I tend to have the problem of not knowing what to send to people 😀 I'm easily pleased with cards especially since I LOVE bird and cat cards but some of my pals only like certain kind of cards that I have hard time purchasing and finding 😀
      And I don't think that Postcrossing or Instagram swaps are that bad.. I also do swaps in Instagram and LOVE it 😛

      • You really think so? 😀 That inspires me a little to look for a postcard pal now, haha!

        I don’t think Postcrossing and Instagram swaps are bad either. Like you, I love the latter! But I would really to make a connection with people for a longer period of time instead of just swapping postcards once or twice 🙂

      • Well India hasn’t reached 100 000 sent postcards in postcrossing, right? 🙂 So I bet people would like cards from there 😉

        I think it’s possible to get postcard pals via Instagram.. I got one during the first week of using the site 🙂 You just have to ask and agree on various swaps 😛

  4. Voi että, mäkin niiiin kovasti haluisin postikorttikavereita (:D) ulkomailta 😦 En vaan oikein tiedä mistä alottais sellaisen “hankkimisen” 😦

    • Kannattaa käydä esim. postcrossing foorumeilla katsomassa etsiikö joku kortti kaveria tai sitten jos joku on pistäny PC:ssä suosikkeihinsa useita lähettämiäsi kortteja ja tarjoudu laittamaan samanlaisia 🙂 Se on aikalailla helpoin tapa.. Sitten on tietysti kanssa Instagram 😉

    • I usually receive cards once every second week IF I’m active and send replies as fast as I can.. 🙂 Usually it takes a while longer but yes, most of the time I get lovely cards 🙂

  5. Kortit ♥ :3 Mä pyydän yleensä aina kavereita lähettämään mulle kortteja, jos esim matkustavat jonnekkin. Tosin aika monet ei kyllä sitä tee mikä on tosi sääli. Itseasiassa blogin kautta oon aloittanut sendaa kortteja ja kirjeitä Brinnertimein Katrin kanssa. Ja muutamalle muulle. Välillä laitan kavereille ja mutsille kortteja, ihan vaan piristääkseen heidän päiviään – ja mun spessut on ne itsetehdyt geekcraft kortit. Tosin olen surkein lähettämään joulukortteja.. Sisko onneksi laittaa aina välillä korttia, tosin en edelleenkään ole saannut mun 30-vee korttia siltä höhö (synttärit oli tammikuussa) noh, ehkä mä saan sen ens synttäreillä 🙂 Kirjeitä olen mukamas liian kiireinen sendaamaan.. mutta aina välillä yllätän itseni 😀

    • Kortit ulkomailta tai ihan kotimaan sisäsestikin on aivan ihania yllätyksiä<3 Mutsi kävi kuun alussa Ranskassa ja laittoi kaikille omat kortit kun muistutin kortin lähettämisestä koko edellisen kuukauden 😀
      Kirjeet vaatii kyllä hieman enemmän aikaa ja jaksamista – laiskuus saattaa iskeä sillon kun pitäs jaksaa kirjottaa ;D

  6. I only have one postcard pen pal, and though I wouldn’t want to write a lot of people that way, I have really enjoyed writing her. Since she’s not from the USA I’ve made it my mission to send her a postcard from all 50 states 🙂

    • Haha! That sounds amazing! 😀 Would be amazing to collect postcards from all states! 🙂
      I have a bunch of postcard pals which isn’t that great now that postage is going up for the second time in 6 months X__x but since I’m quitting Postcrossing I think I can manage the postcard pals as most of them write to me once every second month 🙂

      • How come you’re quitting postcrossing? My goal was to receive 50 postcards as fast as I could and once I did, I started only sending one on the days where I didn’t get any mail. I definitely prefer doing it this way because it’s not like I’m constantly writing strangers, but I still get some awesome postcards from all over from time to time. I still have yet to find all 50 states for Wendy, but maybe once I’m completely done with her collection I can start on one for you 😀

      • The price of postage has risen 25% in just half a year and as I can send 23 postcards at a time (and I’m OCD about the fact that the postcards I’ve sent have to be able to be divided by 5, don’t ask why, it just has to be that way :D) So I send at least 5 at a time which (1 or two when there’s a postcard missing and I need to resend/get a new address to get to 5 or 10 :)). It’s easier to just drop it for good and save money so that I can probably send packages to penpals now and then 🙂 Especially since stamp+postcard will end up costing at least $3.15 per card.. :/ So I rather send cards to people I know 🙂

      • Yikes! International stamps cost $1.10 for me so as long as I don’t constantly send postcards it doesn’t pile up too much, but I think it it were to cost more than $2 I probably would give up on postcrossing, too.

      • Yeah.. :/ I love Postcrossing but with the constant price changes it gets really expensive to be both postcrosser and penpaller so I chose the hobby dearer to me 🙂
        I can always visit the Forums if I want to 😛 At least from there I know I’ll get a card I love 🙂

  7. I’ve just found your site and would love Postcard Pals. I’ve been in postcrossing for over 4 years but now I’m getting no cards and no registrations. It’s very disappointing, especially the lack of registrations as it is really ill-mannered when some-one has taken the trouble to choose a card, pay the postage and then it is ignored. I am now leaving postcrossing but would love to have postcard pals. How do I join as I can’t find any address for you.

    Best wishes

    Margaret

    • I pick up postcard pals from various sites, for example swap-bot, postcrossing and sometimes via my blog 🙂 They’re like penpals for me but instead papers we write on pretty postcards 🙂 At the moment I’m really busy with school (and I have my other mail related blog I run,. this is dead) so I have no time for new pals (letter or postcards).. Try to look for people from different swap sites and ask people in Postcrossing 🙂

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