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Monday, October 13, 2014

World Post Day: Why postcrossing is more than just a stamp collector's hobby

Thursday, 9 October 2014 - 4:37pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk         
In 2012, I travelled to Japan and a lot of tourist places offered me free postcards. That's when I sent some of my first postcards to my friends in Sikkim. But I was introduced to only in the summer of 2013, when I met a couch surfer Ivana in Montenegro, while I was there on an internship. 
The website gives you random addresses with postcard IDs for sending postcards and random people will send you postcards whose IDs you can then register. These are official postcards. Unofficial postcards are the ones you receive after you have requested someone for a card.
Ivana told me how she'd swap postcards with people from India, Russia and other countries. Her Russian friend had also invited Ivana home, asking her to stay with her and travel the country, even making her feel comfortable by handing over the house keys to her new visitor friend.
I was amazed by this story and I knew it was definitely going on my 'first thing to do after going back to India' list. I bought a lot of Montenegrin postcards to send to friends and family.
Once I got back to India, I got busy with other things. But when some of my Montenegrin friends sent me postcards, I finally made time and got down to send my first official postcard via
Since the past nine months, it has been a beautiful journey. Today I have a vast collection of 106 written and stamped postcards from 43 different countries, officially as well as unofficially.
There are so many stories of people from different parts of the world, countries you might not have heard of, their special stamp releases and occasions and of course the lovely pictures and designs on the postcards. I believe you're receiving a part of someone - their time, thoughts and effort.
This hobby has made me realise about how kind and nice people can be. I am hoping this will help the coming generation to learn more about countries and the cultures across the world.
- The bird postcard was sent to me from Ukraine by Julie. The art is beautiful.
- Sanna from Canada sent me a postcard with clock faces and gears because I'm an engineer.
- I chose the chef minion because I was learning to cook then. Victoria Jane sent it to me from Malaysia.
- Virginia sent me a beautiful black and white postcard with a photographer from Lithuania since I enjoy photography as well.

- Ayaka sent me a postcard of Fuji San with special stamps, stickers, the current weather and some information about Japan.
- Greetje from The Netherlands sent me 40 used stamps on my birthday to add to my collection and we still continue to exchange stamps.
- Don from Australia pasted special stamps on puppies that were released in 2013 on a blue mountains postcard. We often write about my upcoming trip to Australia this December and what I mustn't miss out on.
- It was so thoughtful of Martina to stick actual lavenders on my postcard form Czech Republic. I could actually smell them when I received it!

- Life can be so different in other countries. I hadn't imagined how life would be for a girl my age, who's married and has a little daughter. Alina wrote to me about herself on her handmade pretty Japanese card from Germany.
- Manuel from Portugal sent me my favourite shaped card. These kind of cards are very much in demand, unofficially they are exchanged for two regular cards.
- I had never ever heard of the country called Guernsey until I explored the countries list on the website and wrote to Sue to unofficially send me a postcard.
- I had no idea how beautiful South Africa was until Anne-Marie accepted my request to unofficially swap postcards and sent me a multi-view one. The country is definitely on my travel list.
- Esa sent me a special post crossing first day cover, and an aurora cd from Finland just to say thank you for my simple postcard.
- Junichiro wanted to continue to swap with me, so he sent two traditional bookmarks.
The community has give me so much. On World Post Day, I'd like to thank them by spread this wonderful idea and encouraging more people to join us!

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