28. Send 40 postcards to 40 different people

When I initially set this as one of my goals, I envisioned sending postcards to people I knew. Then I started seeing posts over on Twitter referring to this thing called “postcrossing.” So I headed over to postcrossing.com to see what the fuss was all about.

The premise is that you “send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!” And it works! It truly works! As you can see, I’ve sent 40 postcards that have been received and registered (4 others have been traveling more than 60 days – boo!) What you can’t see is that I’ve received 37 postcards back already.

Postcrossing Stats
More than six times around the earth!

My favorite postcard (that I’ve received) was from a young boy in Taiwan who plays baseball and painted a watercolor of a ballpark as his postcard. My favorite sent postcard? Tough call – but there is one neat one of Boston from the top of the Prudential Center that I like a lot.

Where did the postcards go?
Postcards take less time traveling to Germany and Romania than to the US.

I love the things I’ve found out from doing this, too. I’ve sent postcards to 6 year olds (and their parents), people in their 70s, high school and college students, men and women, families and individual, and I’ve sent them all over the world, as you can tell. That tells me that people like getting mail. Whenever there’s a postcard in my mailbox, I get a little thrill, wondering where and who it’s from.

Pie chart of where postcards went
Pie chart!

The other really interesting thing I found out is that the fine folks in Finland are postcard FOOLS! Yes, it’s true – Finns are the most active members of Postcrossing thanks to their long-standing tradition of sending postcards, most often during the Christmas holidays. In fact, one Finnish member of postcrossing specifically requested that people NOT send him Christmas-related postcards, since he receives so many of them each year already.

This has been one of the longer challenges of this year – it’s taken me 8 months to reach 40 sent/registered postcards. Given the fact that I’ve purchased a bunch of fun postcards specifically for the challenge (and have a bunch left over) you can be sure that I’ll continue with my postcrossing adventures into the future.