Being a snail mail lover, of course whenever we go anywhere, I like to send postcards.
We just came back from Kingston, and despite only being there for a few days, and therefore likely beating our postcards back home to Toronto, I couldn’t resist sending out some postcards. We love getting postcards from friends and customers on their adventures – how exciting to see the world on these slips of paper traveling back to us!
I thought I would share a few tips to encourage you to try sending a few postcards on your travels!
- Try to find some local postcards. I picked up a few beautiful (but not Kingston-related!) postcards at a gift-shop on our first day but, but I really regretted not waiting even a day or two until we visited Novel Idea, an independent bookstore on Princess Street, where I found some gorgeous illustrated postcards of Kingston landmarks. Not only will the recipients of your postcards get a taste of where you’re traveling to, supporting local shops that are supporting local artists is a great way to contribute to local economies.
- Use water proof ink. For envelopes, I sometimes use semi-waterproof inks or even non-waterproof inks, and I haven’t found it to be too much of a problem. However, postcards are often made out of a coated or glossy stock, and even a drop of rain or sweaty sorting fingers can smudge a critical number or letter out of recognition, and with no return address, it will truly be a lost sheep with no shepherd. My favourites are Sailor Sei Boku or Noodler’s Plains of Abraham, both extremely waterproof inks, but you could also consider using a ballpoint or gel pen for at least the address.
- Bring stamps (if you’re staying in-country). While of course there’s nothing more exciting than seeing stamps from another country, if you’re traveling within the same country, it can be easier to just bring a book or two of stamps and prevent yourself from needing to find a post office. Mailboxes will be everywhere, and are always “open.” If you travel frequently to a country and send postcards home regularly, you can always get a selection of stamps from a local post office, and carry them in your stationery set with you.
- What to write about? Anything about your trip! The unusual weather, great sights, funny stories, delicious meals, surprising discoveries, interesting people…
- Have a list and addresses already prepared. Sometimes you have addresses in your e-mail or hidden away in your laptop, but it’s nice to have it all on a piece of paper so you can head out to a cafe with your postcards and pens, and get it all done at once, dropping them off at a mailbox on your way home.
- Send a postcard home. A great way to remember a moment or two from your trip – and something fun to find in your mailbox after you’ve come home and the excitement is over. I address ours to “Future Chan Family.” I’m hoping to build a collection of our travels over time for Caleb to look at.
I have a few boxes of postcards, and it’s been a while since I’ve sent one out! I have considered signing up for Postcrossing, but I’m pretty sure my penpals would throw up their hands in despair if they knew I was writing postcards to random folks, instead of answering their long, long overdue letters. Postcrossing is a website that allows you to send and receive postcards from folks around the world. I think I’m more one for building long-term letter writing relationships, but I can’t deny it’s pretty exciting to get something in your mailbox from Germany or Finland or Hong Kong.
And, while we’re on the subject of snail mail – our monthly Letter Writing Club is coming up this week! This will be our first meet up on Thursday from 7-9pm, rather than on Sunday. With the sun setting later and later, I think we’ll still have some daylight out for the beginning, but I’m looking forward to writing letters into the night.
In other news – we just received in our first shipment of Midori 10th Anniversary Camel Notebooks! I didn’t expect to receive this one so quickly, but there are no complaints here! I think the US already has them, but I thought it was going to be a few days at least before Canadian retailers actually got them in their shops.
We’ve already begun packing up and shipping off pre-orders, although we haven’t been able to complete all of them since we’re still waiting for the Anniversary tins to arrive – maybe later this week, maybe next week, depending on how the shipments have been split up.
I shared this photo on Instagram showing my five year old Passport against a brand new Camel Regular, and I can’t believe how gorgeous the leather gets just from everyday use, sliding it in and out of my bag, and holding it in my hands. I can’t resist these sorts of things that get more and more beautiful and wabi-sabi with time.
Sometimes I feel like in our culture, we are constantly seeking this unattainable perfection. I read this article a while back on how grocery stores can only sell these perfectly symmetrical fruits or vegetables, with no blemishes, which means edible and otherwise fine but misshapen food gets thrown out or wasted.
Sometimes it can also mean we seek out these absolutely perfect plastic items with no blemishes, we need a completely new and untouched item before we’ll bring it home, or we mourn when our screens get a scratch on them. I love that in wood and leather and paper pieces, or in cloth napkins or familiar t-shirts that you’ve worn thin and soft over years, you see so much of your journey and life in them and each blemish is a part of your adventure. Its beauty is in its use.
We have this wooden bench on which we took a lot of our earlier photos – it’s this one here – and it’s the very first piece of furniture Jon and I ever got together, years and years ago at an antique shop in Roncesvalles. It now has its share of scratches to blend in with the grain and knots and bumps in the surface, but I love that Caleb now climbs all over it, adding to its history, and I can’t wait to see how my new Camel Midori is going to become richer with time.