I started a correspondence with the world. The idea is to send postcards at random to people across the world, and receive postcards in return. I’ve been on for 72 days now, and it’s been fun! BVs automatically get erased, and I feel good the rest of the day.
You should try knowing what it feels like to expect for real mail, and not just something sent electronically to your @ address/es. My reason for joining was partly to test out the local postal system myself, if it still works the old school way. I grew up seeing household helpers writing long letters on yellow pad, sealing wishes and yearnings in that blue and red bordered envelope you can buy in any sari-sari store. But I haven’t tried sending something via snail mail, until now. So far it has been a roller coaster of emotions – expectation, doubt, distress, desperation… and finally, finally! hope and elation. The first 2 months are the hardest, because you have to waaaaaaaait. Snail mail, bud. In other parts of the world, mail could reach you 3-5 days, but in our case, overseas letters take their time.
As of now I’ve sent 10 and received 5 from Postcrossing, and 1 from a friend (whom you should check out by the way, she makes all-original stuff, postcards one of ’em). I’ve addressed postcards to countries like the US, Brazil, and the Netherlands, and received from countries such as China, Russia, and Singapore. Travel time varies per country: my postcards to Netherlands took 15 days, while those to/from Russia took approximately 35 days.
Postcrossers usually write down requests in their profiles, which you can choose to or not to follow. A tracking system is assigned to you (don’t worry, it’s just something you write down on the card). Quite easy, actually. It’s getting started that’s difficult, since motivation is difficult to build up. But you should see my reaction whenever I’m told I have mail now! When I write a postcard I try to fill up the whole space reserved for the message. Now I look at every card as an opportunity to share something about myself and the country. Although I’m addressing strangers, somehow, the mutual desire to share the idea of Postcrossing makes me feel as if I’m sending an everyday letter to a friend. And I want to share that same experience to anyone else interested.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to travel and meet new people, this is a cheap alternative you could try. Sending overseas costs 14Php, local is 7Php. I buy most of my postcards in National Bookstore. If you hop different branches, you could find more unique cards, and they’re a steal at 1-20Php. You can search for your local post office here. For postage, I usually just hand my postcards to the person at the counter, and they take care of the rest.
I hope this motivates you. Happy Postcrossing!