Making Mailboxes Happy, One Postcard at a Time

Today I’d like to tell you about Postcrossing, the postcard exchange I’ve participated in since 2013 after one of my students told me about it.

Postcrossing is fun and allows me to learn about other cultures while connecting with fellow humans across the globe and seeing new places, especially now when so many restrictions limit travel opportunities.

In the past two months, I’ve mailed postcards to people in Russia, Japan, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, and to fellow Americans.

Here are some postcards I’ve received during the Pandemic (from United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, United States). Click on each card to see where it came from and how long it traveled.

Below are my two favorite cards I’ve recently received.

img_4586

I received this one yesterday, from Germany. It traveled for 16 days. The reason it is one of my favorites is that the sender wrote her second home is Ireland. For those who know me, you’ll understand the significance of this random statement on a postcard from Ireland mailed from Germany. The universe, it’s still speaking to me!

 

img_4582

From Colorado, traveled for 5 days. The sender is ten years old and loves literature. 🙂

 

I also received a postcard yesterday from Russia that traveled for 142 days. It was mailed on St. Patrick’s Day.

I’ll never forget the first postcard I received from a fellow Postcrosser in Thailand. Over the years, I’ve received a few cards from elementary school classes who learn about geography through Postcrossing, as well as cards from families and individual people aged five to 95. Click to see all of my SENT cards and RECEIVED cards. You can also click here to see my Postcrossing profile.

So, how does it work?

Postcrossing is 100% safe to use, so please don’t let doubts about safety overwhelm your desire to connect with other humans around the world.

You first need to set up an account on Postcrossing.

After you’ve registered, you’ll need to mail your first postcard.  When you request an address, read the statement and check the little box that you’ve done so, then you will  receive a fellow Postcrosser’s address and profile along with a unique ID code that you MUST write on your card. This code enables the recipient to register the card, and for every card you send that is registered, you will receive a card in return. Beginners can have up to five postcards traveling at the same time, and as you mail more postcards, the number of cards you can have traveling simultaneously will increase. I can have 25 postcards traveling at once, but that’s a lot of money to spend on postage so I usually send two to three postcards a week. The only people who will see your mailing address are those who are randomly selected to send you a postcard once a postcard you’ve mailed has been registered (it won’t be the same person).

If a card you sent is not registered within sixty days, Postcrossing will change that card to “expired” and you can then request to mail another card. Keep in mind that it takes a while for mail to arrive either to or from other countries, especially China, Russia, and Belarus. The closest city I’ve received a card from is from Jersey City. The more postcards you send, the more regularly you’ll receive postcards in your mailbox.

What You’ll Need

Be sure you have some blank postcards. Since I live in a popular vacation spot, it’s easy to find touristy postcards at local stores. I’ve also purchased postcard sets from Amazon and other online retailers.

Sometimes the person you receive will request specific types of postcards. If I have a card that fulfills their request, I’ll send it, but usually the person on the other end is happy with whatever card they receive.

Also, make sure you have ample postage on hand. It costs $.35 to mail a postcard to an address in the United States and $1.20 to mail a postcard to an international address. International and $.35 stamps are available at any post office location, or you can order stamps online at the United States Post Office website. Since the international stamps are large, I’d recommending putting the stamp on the postcard before addressing it to avoid covering up the recipient’s address. I love seeing the stamps on cards I receive from other countries.

Sample Card I Mailed

This morning, I requested to send a card and received the recipient’s address and profile. The recipient requested tourist-type postcards if possible and asked senders to include something about their town. Below is the card I prepared, which is happily waiting on my mailbox for my postal carrier to take it, thus beginning its journey to Slovakia.

IMG_4593

Front of Card – Typical Jersey Shore Tourist Card as requested by recipient. Again, if I didn’t have a tourist card, I’d send something else I had on hand.

Postcrossing Diagram

Back of Card with Diagram of What I Included. When Maria receives my card in Slovakia, she’ll register it using the Postcrossing ID in the upper left-hand corner.

What are you waiting for?

Postcrossing is enjoyable and a wonderful way to bring the world closer to your home. No matter our physical location and address, we all share the experience of being human, especially during this unprecedented time. The sender of every card I’ve recently received has included something about the pandemic on their end and wishes for health and safety.

To learn more, visit Postcrossing’s website or comment below with any questions you may have and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Broaden your horizons and have fun by joining Postcrossing today!

cropped-img_0764 Thanks for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With gratitude,

Jill

“Making Mailboxes Happy, One Postcard at a Time” was posted on jillocone.com and on soulseaker.com on July 23, 2020. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not endorsed or compensated in any manner by Postcrossing or any other entity, and do not represent the views of any employer. The writer accepts no responsibility or liability for anyone else’s experiences using the Postcrossing website. Copyright 2020, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact jillocone@gmail.com with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries.

 

One thought on “Making Mailboxes Happy, One Postcard at a Time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s