I. Love. Mail.

postcardsWhen I was a kid, I used to have pen pals a lot. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in the US and in Poland. I checked the mail box every single day to see if I had gotten a new letter or postcard. Every time I found my name on a card or envelope, it felt like I was getting a little present. Somehow all the pen pals slowly vanished from my life. The uncle I wrote to regularly got an heart attack, the girl in Poland was writing in German, which made it very hard for me to keep up with it and just like the others, somewhere along the road we just stopped writing.

Then the magical internet was introduced into my life. We got internet at home when
I was about 14 years old (that is more than 12 years ago!). I had been exploring the niceties of this new way of communicating at friends’ and school. I remember
chatting with people from all around the world. We were all so new to it that the fact that we were chatting was so special that the conversation itself didn’t really matter. A lot of people didn’t have internet yet and it really was a fun place to be.

When we had the luxury of internet at home, I registered an e-mail address. Now I could send mails to friends and with the internet, it was easy to gain a bunch of new friends all over the world. Checking my e-mail meant that I would go online, download the e-mail, go offline, write responses and go back online to send the outgoing mails to go offline as fast as possible again. Internet was still charged by the minute.

Developments went fast. Internet was introduced at school, people started using MSN and ICQ, more and more websites were build and there was a changeover of rates and technologies. Internet was now available for everyone, were it not at home, it was at the libraries, at school, at work, at hotels.. everywhere.

And still I was sending e-mails to a lot of people and receiving just as much e-mails. I started writing my first business e-mails for a festival I organized and met more and more musicians who were touring and loved to send e-mails to pass time or to just stay in touch after we met during their tour. Mostly the contacts I had were changing a lot. Contacts came and contacts went. Somehow after a year, maybe a bit longer and often a lot longer, there was a mutual lost of interest and the conversations just stopped. The same goes for MSN and ICQ friends.

These days I am mostly sending e-mails for business purposes or for school. I have some friends who I am in touch with via e-mail now and then, who I meet now and then, when they are in the Netherlands, or when I travel to their country. When it’s my birthday, or during holiday season I receive a postcard now and then, but mostly what I receive now is business, promotions or plain spam. BORING!

I love the look and feel of an old fashioned post card. I love to receive e-mails from friends all over the world, telling me how they are doing. I love not to have to read a travel blog or daily diary of friends to be able to know how their life is developing and how their trip to Faraway was. I love real mail from real people! And thanks to a small project I did last month, I discovered something called postcrossing. And I was sold. Sending postcards to random people in the world, to, in return, receive postcards from random people in the world. This means I will start receiving a lot of cool postcards from now on! And the best of it all, I actually might even meet some new pen pals via this website. Let those little presents arrive through my mail box!:)

So for all of you out there that love to write and receive postcards and letters, go to the postcrossing.com website, or hey, try sending me a nice card now and then. If I have your address I will most definitely return the favor!


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