Postcrossing: Penpals from all over the globe

Postcards are so romantic. Stamps displaying unfamiliar languages, tattered edges from a journey across the world, sentiments bare for anyone to read. Someone halfway around the world thought of you, for even a moment, and wrote a note with pen in hand.

Listen, I instagram like crazy. It's a virtual postcard of your adventures at home and abroad. Also, I happen to believe, from the perspective of an artist and a community organizer, it's one of the most profound apps to be invented in recent history. However, I'm just old enough to know there's nothing quite like the nostalgia of receiving handwritten mail.

I've turned a few friends on to Postcrossing over the years and my annual stats report reminded me to once again praise them from the rooftops. It's free. It's fun. It is also, for me, a subtle way to keep the energy of wanderlust flowing constantly through my life. If you want to get started, it's as simple as creating a profile with as much or as little information as you want to share. Your address is private until Postcrossing matches you with a sender. You will also become a sender and receive addresses for people to whom you'll send postcards. The postcard exchange is a one-time deal, unless you decide to approach someone about becoming regular penpals (or you accept someone's offer to you). I prefer the one-time approach and find it's what I have time for in my life right now. Simple.

My mailbox looked like this in 2013:

Love and mail worth reading, 

Just. Say. No.

Where To Travel in 2014: A Roundup