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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 inย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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” ๐Ÿ™‚ This because I LOVE and collect postcards but I want those to be written before I add those to my collections ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚
Does anyone else have postcard pals or do you think it’s just a waste of money/stamps/pretty postcards? ๐Ÿ™‚

-Kristiina