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September 12, 2008


Horse N. Buggy

Interesting question. First, I LOVE receiving postcards. I can't imagine anyone who doesn't. But I've never really been one to write them. Mostly, it's a practical thing. I always want to have something interesting to say on the postcard, so I can't really fill it out until close to the end of the trip. Then I also want the postcard to beat me home. I mean, what's the point in sending a postcard when I'm going to tell all the stories to the recipient in person before it arrives?

So, in order for me to send a postcard, there are two conditions:

1 - a long trip, over 1 week in duration so that the postcard beats me home
2 - the recipient doesn't live in my home city (I only have a couple of close friends that live "out of town")

Based on those two criteria, I've really only had two trips that involved postcard writing. In 1994, I lived in Moscow for 4 months. So, yeah, plenty of time for the postcards to beat me home. Then, in 2007, I went to Asia for three weeks. I sent postcards from that trip, though not as many as I'd planned to send.

In Japan and China in 2007, I had absolutely no trouble finding postcards. I like photographic images of the places I've been to and I found plenty of those. It was easy for me to think of what to write if I sent an image of a place I had visited. I simply wrote out what I learned about it or my impressions of the place.

A tip: On our trip to Asia, I thought I was well prepared because I wrote out my friends' addresses in the back of the journal I planned to keep. My nephew one-upped me by actually typing up names and addresses on labels that he then just stuck on his postcards. I was quite impressed with his preparation.


I don't send them anymore (we're usually home well before they arrive at their destination), but I pick them up in our travels to 1) include in our scrapbook/photo album for sights where cameras aren't allowed, and 2) to include a summary of each day's adventrures. I write up each day's card the next morning before we head down to breakfast. It's fun finding the cards and a little more relaxed than journaling.


I do find that the postcard options are getting smaller and the ones you find aren't as attractive anymore.

Like the art of handwritten letters, sending postcards is quickly being replaced by Facebook status messages and Twitter tweets!


How sad that postcards are becoming retro. I love getting them, but taking time out of my vacation to buy/write/post them?



I love both receiving AND sending postcards. I nag my friends whenever they're going overseas, and always try to make a point of sending at least 1 card to all my friends when I go away.

Also, often buy them as a momento of where I was. Especially if you're somewhere scenic but you can't get a photo due to bad weather, too many tourists or nasty security guards.

It makes me sad to think of it as a dying practice.


First of all, thanks for the plug. I'm glad you enjoy my mappish blather. In addition, I appreciate all the great oddball map tips that Marilyn has passed on to me.

Naturally, when I travel, I am always on the lookout for map postcards. I don't usually have trouble finding postcards in general, however, like other commentators, I find the selection to be poor.

On my recent trip to Mexico City I saw postcards at nearly every newstand. Unfortunately, they were the same dozen or so postcards over and over again. I see that in many towns and tourist areas. Very little variety.


I love collecting postcards - though I love receiving them too, so I want to make more of an effort to send them out too.


Hello, CUT THAT OUT with the death of postcards! I did a little postcard revival project when I read about this about, oh, three months ago? I still have postcards to send and I still love getting them, and bless my husband, he discovered some vintage Hawaii postcards in an thrift store that are sitting right here at my desk...

Also, while the offerings may not be great, it's easier than ever to make your own fabulous postcards, though I guess you have to send them when you get back home.

Marilyn Terrell

Pam, you better send us one!

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