Monday, 23 September 2013

Why Postcrossing?

I was 17 years old when a friend of mine told me about an exciting hobby she had just discovered: Postcrossing. My first question was probably "what's that?" - I had heard from Bookcrossing before, but this one was totally new to me.

As a background I should probably tell that my addiction of postcards goes a way back - I have bought and collected cards from places I've visited as long as I can remember. It was (and still is) a cheap, nice, decorative souvenir to bring home with you and I still keep buying new cards on my trips. So when I was told about Postcrossing, I already had experiences with collecting them. My friend also knew I love postcards. And what a favor she did to me, indeed...

I checked the website and instantly joined the project. That happened in May 2006 - more than seven years ago. My first official Postcrossing card I sent was FI-30169 and it traveled to the USA in 5 days!

I was, of course, really anxious to know from where I'd received my first card. It arrived on the 14th June 2006 and it came from Brazil. Then funny thing here is that the person who sent that card was looking for new pen pals, and we started to swap letters from that day - and are still doing that. So the beginning of my Postcrossing-career didn't just bring me a nice card from a totally new country, it also gave me a very good friend I'm still writing with.

I think that is the most charming thing about Postcrossing; to have new friends and to be connected with thousands of people from very different cultures; to learn something new every day. I haven't been very active every year, but I never stopped writing cards and I kept coming back. During these seven years I've moved from home to another city, started a life on my own, met my boyfriend, got a new job and started to study in the university - all of these being pretty big changes in one's life, I still never gave up with postcards.

As I'm studying to become a foreign language teacher, I find it very fascinating about Postcrossing, that I'm able to use all the languages I know. My knowledge in French and Dutch, for example, is not that good I could write a letter, but for a postcard they're perfect. I also enjoy reading messages from other members written in their native language - most of the time I'm really surprised about the fact that I can understand what they've written!

New friends, practicing your language knowledge, expanding your experiences about other cultures, literally seeing new places in the world... I can't come up with any other hobby that would offer the same for a price of a stamp.

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