One of my guests in the hostel came up to me today and asked me ‘Sorry, but did I write correctly on this postcard? I have never send one before’.
I felt so old right then.
After a closer look at her card, I had to keep myself from laughing. She’d written on the wrong side of the card and hadn’t left any space for an address or the stamps (they now had to go in the lower-left corner).
The fact that she was holding a card from the Mona Lisa and we were in fact in Amsterdam, didn’t even seem that important anymore.
I started wondering… Is the postcard dead?
Sending Postcards With A Personal Touch
When I was little, sending a card home seemed almost the highlight of the trip. We would spend almost half a day picking out cards for the entire family and friends back home.
Even though none of these people would probably gather to compare postcards (‘Why did you get the ‘funny’ card, and I the unsignificant church and flowers? She must like you better…’), we always made a careful selection of images and matching stamps and spend the rest of the day thinking what to write on them (of course that also had to be different for everyone, so far efficiency in the 90′s).
Postcards From Around The World
I inherited my grandfathers stamp collection as I always had a fascination with the little pictures on them (Yes, I’m uncool like that) and I even participated in The Postcrossing Project numerous times to receive postcards and stamps from all over the world from people I’d never met before. Did you ever try it?
Postcards kept coming to us when Nick and I moved to Sydney for two years. It soon turned our boring apartment into a colourful collage of cards from thoughtful family members and friends. It was one of those things that gave us the feeling we were a bit closer to them.
Is The Postcard Dead?
An article in The Telegraph a couple of months ago reported that a survey under 1200 people showed only 6% of them still send a traditional card when travelling, compared with 1 in 4 who use Facebook and 10% using Skype. So maybe you could say that the online world killed the postcard?
While I still occasionally buy postcards when I travel, to hang on my wall, I rarely think of sending one nowadays. But the personal touch you can give to it makes me realize I should put a little bit more effort in next time.
Tell me, how do you feel about postcards?
What was the best card you ever got?
And do you still know how to properly write one? Or do you consider a Whats-app or Facebook message enough to share your travel adventures with the people at home?