Postcrossing: There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Tired of getting annoying flyers tossed into your mailbox? Ever thought that opening the mailbox can be an exciting daily ritual? If you still have no idea about what I’m hinting at, now’s the time to jump on the Postcrossing bandwagon.

Established in 2005, Postcrossing today boasts some 350,000 participants with the number increasing daily at a fast clip. What’s so attractive about Postcrossing that sees its users group boom so fast?

(These postcards are just a fraction of my copious receipts after I joined Postcrossing a year ago.)

Postcrossing allows people around the globe to exchange postcards with one another. First, the Postcrossing system randomly picks an address out of its vast database. Then you, as an active participant, send a postcard to the chosen address which could be in any country. Once your counterpart receives your postcard, he or she marks so with the system, which then triggers the process for you to receive a postcard from another country in turn. Of course, whoever is going to send you a postcard is also randomly selected by the system.

Once you receive a postcard, it’s your turn to mark so with the system, thus setting the sender on course for receiving subsequent postcards from, hmm, heaven knows.(You may know well that the 2012 Summer Olympics is taking place in London this July, but chances are you don’t know that the 2014 Winter Olympics is to be held in Sochi, Russia. This Ukraine-originated postcard I received gives the show away.)

The beauty (and suspense) of this postcard exchange program is that you never know what kind of postcard will end up in your mailbox, or where it’ll come from and from whom. One great merit (and amusement) is you’ll get a chance to learn more about other countries, their people, landscapes and cultures once you start to swap postcards on a global scale, not to mention the opportunity of making new friends during the process.

(Ever fancy a chance to sneak a peek inside the Forbidden City in Beijing? This postcard from China offers a pinch of gratification for armchair travelers.)

(Pristinely Finnish: The sender of this postcard writes that his father went moose hunting. To prevent the moose from overbreeding, a short-lived open season is installed in Finland every year.)

And, it’s worth mentioning here that I’ve been able to pull in a small pile of postage stamps that came in on the postcards. Those interested in stamp collecting would love to know that Postcrossing is also a reliable stamp-suctioning machine that brings forth a steady stream of postage stamps from all corners of the world.

A patchwork of exotic stamps received through Postcrossing:
1. A flag-themed stamp from Finland
2. Beautiful aurora borealis
3. Cheers from Finland!
4. Stamps from Korea
5. A football-themed stamp from Portugal
6. Stamps from Russia
7. A Chinese stamp calling a halt to land desertification
8. One-of-a-kind Postcrossing stamps, issued by the Netherlands Government.
9. Stamps from Japan
(One of the many postcards that never fail to see me crack a big smile. Sent by two cooking-loving kids, Ben and Peter, in Illinois. I love their happy message!)

Some people would hastily reduce this postcard thing to little more than a boredom killer. But all the lovely and illuminating postcards shown above would attest to the opposite. And I’d say you can hardly resist the come-on of trading postcards with people in every corner of the world once you start sending out your first postcard!
I invite you to join the tribe by going to www.postcrossing.com and setting up a hassle-free account for yourself. Imagine kicking off the perennial fun of bandying postcards back and forth! Hey, the paths of our postcards may cross before we know it.

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13 thoughts on “Postcrossing: There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

  1. Just so you know, it looks like that card is from Ben and Peter. What you took for a t is a plus sign – so it reads “Ben and Peter”

  2. I joined postcrossing about 3 months ago and absolutely love it! There’s nothing better than receiving a card in the mail – every one is a surprise, some make you laugh, some think and some even teach you stuff like your Ukranian one.
    I live in the UK, so am sending out lots of Olympic Games cards at the moment, it’s a great way of sharing the excitement about this amazing event!

    • Thanks for your lovely message. I couldn’t agree with you more! I’d love to own an Olympic Games card. So why don’t we trade one with each other?:-)

    • Hey Aankee! I know you love postcard just like me. Here’s a great chance of winning a special postcard. Go check my latest post and you’ll find out!

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