How much time passed from the last time I sent a letter or a postcard with traditional post? Years?!?
This is what I asked myself, remaining with no words, when I found the site Postcrossing.
Still I passed my childhood sending letters to friends met during the holidays to keep in touch despite the distance. I remember the emotion of posting the envelope, then the wait for the answer. When I was receiving mail I was running to my room to open the letter, wondering about the last news from far friends, already thinking about what to write back. Beautiful, moving, creative. Then arrived the web. At first it was not taking the place of normal post: I was still exchanging letters and postcards with many of my contacts. Slowly e-mails took the place of them, then social media gave the coup de grace. Not only we are not sending them anymore, but, even doing it, probably we would not receive an answer.
But, thanks to this project born from the passion of Paulo Magalhães, geek nomad with a love for postcards, it is possible to go back and taste again the emotion of finding post in the mailbox, with an added surprise factor.
How does it work? Go on the site, create your profile and ask for an address to which send your first postcard; you will receive an unique ID code related to the dispatch, write it on the postcard, send it and wait for it to be registered on the site: your address will be the next to be sent a postcard. Then taste the wait and the moment in which you’ll receive a postcard from another user that maybe lives on the other part of the globe. Marvellous, isn’t it?
Rules are few, but clear: at the beginning you can’t have more than 5 postcards travelling, but as you send more the number grows.
And the safety? Postcrossing’s team thought about this also: no one can ask your address (you can give it, if you want, through message), the map on which you are located is approximated, non one can get a large number of addresses from the database. If then you still think the site is not safe, you can always use a P.O. Box.
Today, straight away, I went to buy my first postcards to send; it was not easy to find some and soon I’ll try to organize better, but now I can’t wait to post them.
My profile @ Postcrossing (if you have one, leave it in the comments!)