This morning while browsing through my Facebook newsfeed, I learned that the very first postcard was sent on October 1, 1869, in Austria-Hungary. Yesterday was its 150th anniversary.
With the advent of digital technology, writing postcards seems to have become a lost art. When I was in Baguio two days ago, I had a hard time looking for a postcard. Baguio is a popular tourist destination and dubbed as the summer capital of the Philippines so I thought it would be easy to find one. But I had to go to five bookstores before finding one. I couldn’t believe that even National Bookstore, the largest bookstore and office-supplies store chain in the country doesn’t have it anymore.
When I travel out of the country, I always send myself a postcard. I started this practice two years ago. This idea was shared by my ex-housemate. I think it’s a cool alternative to buying souvenirs, especially when you are traveling long term. You can’t keep buying a ref magnet or keychain from every city or country you visit. It is hard moving from one place to the next with so many stuff on your backpack. With postcards, once you get home and get the card, you get to relive the experience you had while traveling.
Prior to my backpacking trip last June, I wanted to have someone who I could send postcards from all of the places I visit and to share the stories of my crazy adventures. And I’m glad I met someone a few weeks before my trip. It made me look forward to visiting the post office of every town and city that I visited. Buying a postcard and composing a message on the postcard was my favorite activity. I get super excited after dropping the postcard in the mailbox.
What excites me more though is receiving a postcard from someone else. It always makes me smile whenever I get one. My sister knows and always teases me about it. I think that when someone sends you a postcard, it means they put an effort into it because they took the time to buy the postcard, compose a message and send it.
So next time you go on a trip, why not send yourself and someone else a postcard? It might be an old-fashioned choice, but you’ll have a really nice reminder of your trip, and it will surely put a smile on the face of the receiver.