With Love from Paradise

Saturday, August 06, 2011

When was the last time you sent a postcard while on a trip? Be honest. See? No one does it anymore. But we all get the warm fuzzies when we open the mail box to find a postcard sticking out of the bills & junk mail.

We're so electronically 'connected' these days we're more likely to receive trip updates via Facebook or Twitter, or a disjointed text with an image attached if you're one of the lucky ones. I won't sit here and say I disagree with the widespread usage of social media. On the contrary. It is a phenomenal tool for staying in touch. However, there's something to be said for grabbing a few postcards from the vendor down the way and then cuddling up with a pen & coffee to jot down a thoughtful message to folks back home. As I'm writing this post, I remember the last time I sent a postcard - it was 2004. For shame! But I remember sending those cards so vividly... sitting down in the corner of a quiet breakfast room from our hotel in Positano, Italy. I spent half an hour writing several postcard messages to friends & family, lifting my pen only to take a sip of coffee & glance out over the Tyrrhenian Sea. One of my girlfriends still has the postcard I sent her from that trip displayed in her home, among other pictures & mementos. I see it every time I visit.

Lovely article at NYR (New York Review of Books).

Image, via guardian.co.uk/travel



  1. We've gotten into quite a postcard habit, and I'm glad we did.

    My father-in-law sends postcards prolifically. We get 2-3 per week, while they're just at home in Chicago, about whatever is going on in the world. He's got boxes of hundreds of blank postcards and he sends one that matches some message about what he's writing about. They're great written history of what is happening in the world and their family, and a good learning tool for our daughter as she grows up.

    They also send postcards daily while on vacation, and it serves as a lasting trip journal for them. We're now in the habit and send them a postcard daily when we're travelling.

  2. You know Jude, growing up my brother & I received postcards all the time from our grandparents who were traveling the world in their sailboat. When I was really young I didn't really get it, but as I got older those cards definitely taught me that there was a much larger world out there than where I was standing. Completely agree with you when you say those postcards from your in-laws will be a learning tool for your daughter.

    My husband & I are leaving for vacation soon, and I'm making it a point to send postcards this time around - no facebook, no twitter - just good old fashioned handwritten postcards.

  3. Oh, I agree; there's nothing like getting a postcard from some exotic location far away. I always have the best of intentions when I'm travelling and buy an abundance of postcards on holiday. Sometimes I even get around to writing on them...it's the posting step I seem to miss every time! Great little thought though x

  4. I have a friend who always asks me to send her a postcard when I travel. She doesn't much care what the postcard looks like (so I choose the most ridiculous, naturally), she really collects the cancelled postmarks from offices around the world. Her favorite was for me to send her a card from the Vatican post office.

    Sometimes we need less digital and more analog in our life.

  5. Agreed Jeremy, we do need less digital sometimes. I did manage to get about 10 postcards out during this last trip, pretty much all family. What helped was the map I had of Vienna had several 'posts' clearly marked, so it made it super easy to drop them off. That and Chad knew how to say 'stamps' in German.


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