Postcrossing Shows You the World

The majority of the reality and wanderlust are in direct conflict with one another. There’s never quite enough time or money to wander as much as we desire, so I’m always trying to find ways to wander inexpensively or vicariously. Postcrossing is one of my coolest discoveries.

In 2005, Paulo Magalhaes had the ingenious idea to connect people from around the world through postcards. Not e-cards, not e-mails, not e-anything—real old-fashioned postcards that are hand delivered right to your mailbox.

At the time of this post, Postcrossing had more than 485,000 users living in 212 different countries. And, they have been very busy sending nearly 25 million postcards!

It’s really simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an account at Postcrossing
  2. Request a recipient address and a “Postcard ID”
  3. Mail a postcard to said address
  4. Receive a postcard from another Postcrosser

Who knows? You may gain a pen pal. If you’re lucky, it will blossom into a long-distance friendship. If you’re really lucky, face-to-face visits might be exchanged. Rumor has it a marriage was born from one Postcrossing postcard!

I happened to be in Solvang when I read about Postcrossing, so I snatched up a handful of postcards at the next gift shop I passed by. As I perused the selection of average looking cards, I had a thought—wouldn’t it be cool if I could use my own travel pics as postcards to add a special personal touch?

What did we do before Google??? That evening, I had three great postcard alternatives:

  1. Vista Print—If you have a single stellar photo that you’d like to grace the front of all your postcards, upload here, design a custom back, and order as many as you like. (Don’t forget to check RetailMeNot for a coupon!) These quality postcards are bargain-priced will arrive at your door all ready for you to add a handwritten personal note, address, and send off to the next Postcrosser.
  2. Photo Postos—If you have photographic commitment issues, this self-adhesive postcard is for you. Simply peel and stick your favorite print-of-the-moment onto the front, handwrite your personal message, address the card, and mail.
  3. Amazing Mail—Let’s face it…the easier a task is, the more likely we’ll actually do it. This site is your “one stop postcard shop.” Upload a picture you took yesterday or that stellar one from the road trip you took two summers ago, type your personal message, fill in the address, and they will mail your postcard the very next day. Although I prefer handwriting my postcards, the flexibility and ease offered by this website is seriously appealing. As always, convenience comes at a price.

Now you just have to figure out how you’re going to show off all the Postcrossing postcards you receive from around the world! That’s where Pinterest comes in.