Extolling the Virtues of Postcards

Postcards on display in Chefchouen, Morocco

Postcards on display in Chefchouen, Morocco

In this day of instant communication through social media and email, it's important to take a step back to really think about the value of sending a good old fashioned postcard. I hope to convince you that you should indeed consider sending a postcard on your next trip. Even if your next trip is only one town over.

What are the Virtues of a Postcard Anyway?

1. Will It Ever Be Sent?

I just slid 5 postcards into a slot that said Letres. Before I did so I peered into the slot to see a large dark room that was completely empty. Previously at a cafe I saw a little yellow letter box on the wall that reminded me I had to buy stamps for the postcards I bought in Portugal. I asked our driver if the yellow box is ever checked. He said "it isn't likely". I imagined some postcards and letters sitting in there getting crisp from the dry Moroccan air. 

This lends the postcard a level of mystery you don't get with emails and texts that notify you when they are sent. 

2. Postcards Have No Return Address

Postcards are really one way communication, which is nearly unheard of in our modern world. But they are such a gift in this way, where you give and don't expect anything in return. I mean, you'll likely hear back from the recipient, but only through other means, and if they are truly impressed with your postcard. 
Quite often I will get a text from a friend thanking me for the postcard that I sent weeks and weeks ago and I have to wonder to myself what it was I sent and what I said. 

3. Origins Unknown

If you receive a postcard you might not know who it's from unless they sign it. Even then the postal service may place a stamp or a marking or a scuff mark may obscure the signature. 

I like to buy and send postcards from different places. On the front you may have a picture of Lisbon in the 30's and on the back stamp and postal markings from Morocco.  This is easy to do if you travel full time like we do, but not always practical if you are on a two week vacation. 

4. Postcards Are Cryptic!

The postcard sender has to be precise or write really small which may make the postcard illegible. My preferred method is to be concise and a little cryptic. Lately I've been sending twitter length postcards that generally have nothing to do with the place I'm in, or where I'm going next. Maybe a little poem or description of sounds, because let's be honest. A postcard is worth 1,000 words, right?

5. People LOVE Postcards!

When is the last time you got a postcard? Wasn't it a great feeling opening that mailbox at home and not seeing the same shitty discount coupon flyer you get every damn week? Or a bill? Do people still get bills in the mail anymore? It's like getting a mysterious and physical Instagram that you can put on your fridge and look at and think about until it turns brittle and crumbles and you are senile and don't remember the sender anymore.

6. Old Postcards Are Cool.

Have you ever found pile of old postcards at a thrift store or in your parents attic? It's like eavesdropping on a phone conversation at a cafe. You can hear only one side of it, but you can learn so much about the person who sent it and fill in from what they say and don't say to deduce who the postcard was for!

7. Postcards Are REAL.

Much like a paper book, you can read a postcard when the internet is down. Granted, it won't take you too long because they are short little missives. But they are written by hand. By my hand. And they are delivered by hand to your door. And you pick through the garbage flyers and touch it with your hand. You turn it over to see where it came from. You read into the image. You touch the imprint my pen made and think of me writing it.

8. Postcards Take Time

They take time to buy, time to write, time to find postage and time to get them to a post office. Then depending on where you are in the world, they take weeks to deliver. This means that Trump doesn't send postcards. But he should.


If you would like us to send you a postcard, a real live breathing postcard, please fill out the form below and we will do our best to send you a postcard. Keep in mind that this may take WEEKS. It would be great if you let us know that you received our postcard by tagging us on Facebook!

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