I don’t even remember how we ended up coming across it, but about two years ago, my family discovered Postcrossing. This fun website has turned into a project that our whole family can enjoy.
The concept behind Postcrossing is simple. You send a postcard to another user, with the address randomly selected by the Postcrossing computers, and include the card’s tracking number on the back of the card. Once the card arrives, the recipient gets online and enters the tracking number into the appropriate space on the Postcrossing website. Once the site has record of your postcard being received, your address is given to someone else, once again randomly selected by the computers, to have a card sent to you. The more you send, the more you will receive.
In the two years that my family and I have been Postcrossing, we have sent and received about 175 postcards each way. The postcards have come to me from all around the world. About 30 of the cards have come from within the United States. We’ve received more postcards from Finland and Germany that any other country. We’ve received cards from Australia, Japan, China, Spain… There have been so many countries that we’ve been blessed to receive cards from. As our postcards arrive, I (like many other Postcrossing members) place scanned images of each card both on the Postcrossing website and on my personal blog, giving others the opportunity to see the cards we have received.
Interestingly, we’ve received postcards from a few countries that I hadn’t even known existed before the postcards arrived in my mailbox. My kids and I have used these to our advantage, turning them into a geography lesson. Even with the countries that we do know, we often look up the countries on a map soon after the card arrives. With the newly discovered countries, we take a few moments to look into the history of the country as well as the geography.
In the long run, we plan to put the postcards into a large scrapbook, turning each page into a geography/history lesson complete with the postcards as pictures to accentuate the included information. Our collection keeps growing, and I know the project ahead of us will take some hard work but will also be rewarding once it is complete. We are already looking forward to seeing our finished project… though we’re not sure it will ever be truly complete.