Over the weekend, I found myself unearthing an old box of postcards. I didn’t really get to travel that much until I began working in a magazine, so the years prior to that, while I would be stuck at home and my friends were going off on their adventures, I started asking them to send me postcards. Most of them would be happy to and it was always such a joy to get something from thousands of miles away, in another part of the world. In some way, it made me feel like I was part of their travels; it certainly fed my wanderlust and I was grateful.
Below are some of the more memorable postcards I’ve received from old college friends, classmates, office mates, and my sister from 1998 to 2007. The postcards they picked and the words they wrote always made me want to pack my bags and go. Some make me smile to this day. A couple of postcards are from a friend who’s no longer in my life that makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
Anyway, if you’re thinking of sending a postcard to anyone, here are a couple of things to keep in mind. Or not. It’s your postcard, you can do whatever you want with it! 🙂
First, pick a postcard. Pick one that’s unexpected–from the shape to the image. Love the Berlin wall graffiti below and the Stonehenge-shaped postcard. You can also choose postcards with people in them. Cute little people.
The postcard above was from a friend who was in Los Angeles and she wrote that it was how she imagined my bonboncitas would be. How can that not make you smile.
When you write about the place, write beyond what’s on the photo. On the postcard of Fontana di Trevi in Rome, my sister wrote: “Only narrow streets lead to the Trevi fountain so only the sound of rushing water can be heard and builds up to the spectacular sight of this massive artistic wonder!” I could almost see her walking on those narrow streets, following the sound of the water.
Yes, I would want to see it for myself.
Write about the food you ate. At the Christmas Market at the Cologne Cathedral, I’ve been told that the mulled wine and the champignon with creme fraiche is great to have especially in the cold.
Throw a little bit of humor in it if you can. The postcard below is of the Holy Grail in Valencia (though I think my friend only managed to mail it from Manila. Haha!). My “mystery tourist” friend who was traveling around Spain back then wrote: “We should’ve told King Arthur what direction to head for.” Hee.
Write about a place the postcard recipient knows little of. Add details. Back in 2002 one of those places for me was Russia (postcard below is of the Smolny Cathedral). I knew little of the country except for a bit of its recent history and the fact that it was very cold there. My friend wrote about going to so many churches, palaces and museums…and the cuteness of guys in every city. She also wrote about tension in the border crossing and about buying souvenirs several times from one of the street vendors because he was cute. She wrote about the cute British boys when she went to London, the cuter Danish boys when she was in Denmark and a lot of other silly things. These days though, I have no idea what she would write in a postcard now. Wish I knew though.
And just because I’m in love with Japan, I want to include this postcard I got back in 1998 from a classmate in college. We weren’t really close, but he remembered that I was starting to collect postcards and sent this one when his family went there. He wrote, among other things, how the cherry blossoms were breathtaking. It took me more than a decade, but at least I found out first hand that indeed they are.