Pass It On: Posted

A Guideposts staffer discovers the joys of communicating with pen pals via postcard.

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- Posted on Nov 25, 2014

An artist's whimsical rendering of a postcard traveling around the world

I served in the Army before I came to Guideposts. Getting letters and cards—some from friends, some from strangers who’d volunteered to write to soldiers—made my deployments to Iraq easier to bear.

I loved hearing about life back in the United States, especially in parts of the country I hadn’t been to.

Which is why I was excited to learn about Postcrossing.org, a website that arranges for people to receive postcards from around the world. It was founded in 2005 by a Portuguese man who calls himself “a geek with a passion for postcards.”

He knew there had to be other people who shared his passion and got a kick out of getting mail from faraway places. His hunch was correct—Postcrossing has almost 500,000 users in 214 countries.

Getting started is easy—create a user name and fill out your profile. When you’re ready to send a postcard, the site shows you a member profile with an address and a postcard ID.

You mail that member a postcard. The recipient logs the ID on the site. Then you’re eligible to receive a postcard from another user.

I just sent out my first postcards, to people in Germany, Russia, China, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

I had so much fun picking out the cards and sharing my favorite New York spots. I can’t wait to see what comes to my mailbox!

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