Traveling the World Through Postcards - Ribbon in my Journal

Traveling the World Through Postcards

Phyllis Inspiration 23 Comments

It always makes my day when I open my mailbox to a handwritten letter from a friend. I have always loved writing and receiving notes and I intend to keep handwritten correspondence a priority in my life. With the speed of technology, it is becoming more and more rare to receive words written by hand. There is still a simple and beautiful way to maintain this art: postcards!

I vividly remember the first time I was introduced to postcards. Growing up, my siblings and I rarely had a babysitter, but when we did it was always our sweet neighbor, Mrs. Trainor. The first time she came to our house she had two shoeboxes tucked under her arm. We were immediately intrigued and began speculating as to what treasure was hidden within these mysterious boxes. When she opened the boxes, we saw that they were filled to the brim with postcards. For the next hour and a half my siblings and I sat with her, admiring the beautiful pictures and designs of each postcard.

Each postcard featured an accompanying story from Mrs. Trainor. When she left for the day, we felt as if we had traveled both the country and the world with her. Each time she went on a trip, she made sure to purchase at least one postcard to add to her collection. These allowed her to remember her each of her many trips for years to come.

Mrs. Trainor’s tradition is an easy one that you can adopt today. Postcards are an inexpensive and unique souvenir that can be purchased at many destinations. Taking a minute to write a short note on a postcard is a quick and meaningful way to share your travels with friends and family. Postcards are also a great way to introduce children to the lost art of writing letters by hand. In the midst of our daily hustle and bustle, let’s be intentional about reclaiming authentic communication, one postcard at a time.

Do you have a favorite postcard that you have sent or received?

Traveling the World Through Postcards - Ribbon in my Journal

Comments 23

  1. when ever we went on trips I bought post cards to give away in letters , cards and would buy for my own collection I love pretty post cards and greeting note cards etc…

  2. I have a friend from High School, some 48 years ago, who travels to various countries in Europe from time to time. She always sends me a post card from those fascinating places, knowing that I will never be able to go there. I treasure these small gifts from her, foreign stamps and post marks, and interesting bits of information she includes. Knowing how far they’ve traveled to get to me makes them even more special. I tuck them into a beautiful ribbon board on my wall, and so have created a lovely little post card art gallery to remind me of my friend.

  3. I, too, buy postcards when we travel as they often have pictures that cannot be taken by the average traveler. My mother bought postcards also when she traveled with her brother (before marriage) and also when my family traveled. I have quite a large collection that I inherited from my mother and grandmother. My favorites are the Christmas postcards sent to my uncles and aunts way back in the teens and twenties (aka the early twentieth century!) Greeting cards were not as popular then. I have put a lot of the cards in an album so that both side are showing if there is writing on the back. It is just fascinating to look through these beautiful cards and see the beautiful penmanship.

  4. I have a Christmas postcard that my mother sent inviting us to our Christmas gathering from about 30 years ago. My mom has been dead for about 25 years and I treasure this handwritten Christmas card from her.

  5. My husband and I love to take road trips across the country, and have been doing so for 45 years. We’ve been fortunate to have taken trips to Europe and Canada, also. I purchase postcards everywhere we go from visitor centers, museums, botanical gardens, souvenir shops and other lovely places. Each is dated, turned into a memory, and then tucked away into my special postcard box. It’s fun to look through them to remind me of the wonderful places we’ve traveled to together. Each is a tiny trip to the past. Those postcards always make me smile!

  6. My parents were divorced when I was very young. My father traveled in his job and he would send me postcards and write something interesting about each place he went. It was his way of keeping us close since we didn’t get to see each other very often. I have done the same for my grandchildren since they live far from me. Even though the new postcards have exceptional photography, I still love the old ones from the 1950’s and older showing the cities as they were when I was a child. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

  7. As a little girl in St. Louis I eagerly collected the postcards sent to me by relatives in Austria and Hungary who I would not meet for two decades. Now many years later I still have those postcards and display the holiday ones at Easter and Christmas. And, I have met all of those relatives!

  8. I always enjoy sending postcards to friends and relatives. Unfortunately, it seems to be going the way of the handwritten letter.

  9. When I travel abroad, I always send myself (as well as friends and family) a post card souvenir. It’s so nice to have this record of my immediate impressions of the place I am visiting. Plus the foreign stamp and postmark are something I might not see otherwise.

  10. When I was a child, postcards were the way family members shared their travels. I made a scrapbook of those postcards. As an adult, I discovered the joy of collecting vintage postcards as a visual history of my hometown, my university and locations that were special to family. When my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the mid 90’s, my sister and I created an exhibit of vintage cards relating to them and our town at the local historical society museum. One card even showed their street some years before they were married! I treasure these windows into the past of the little town that helped form my life.

  11. Years ago, I read Alexnadra Stoddard’s book on gracious living and learned from her to collect postcards. They are such a special way to keep a memory and share one. I even have one of her signed and numbered books, The Postcard as Art. I keep it on a table in my bedroom and leaf through it, as a reminder of those lovely paintings, many of which I have seen. This is such an easy way to just brighten someone’s day, especially now when we all need some beauty in our lives.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  12. Many years ago I travelled to Europe. Many of the museums did not allow photos, as the flash damaged the paintings. I bought postcards of many of my favorite paintings (which were far better than any picture I might take anyway). I’m not sure if this would hold today with smart phones, but I enjoy my postcards!

  13. What a wonderful memory and a timely reminder for me. I will be traveling abroad in November, and will have the opportunity to collect any number of postcards. I am wondering what you would suggest as the best way to keep a postcard collection (other than boxes)?

    Thank you for your blog. I’ve been enjoying it for quite some time, but this is the first time I’ve left a comment.

  14. When I was a child, my grandmother put together a scrapbook for me containing all of the postcards she had been sent by family and friends as they traveled. We spent many happy hours together looking through that scrapbook. Reading your post has inspired me to start collecting and mailing postcards again. I do send Valentine’s and Halloween cards each year to all of my 11 grandchildren and tuck in a little surprise like some stickers. It’s something they look forward to and I hope I’m starting a tradition that they’ll continue when they are adults.

  15. I agree. I think postcards are not only wonderful momentos but one of the nicest ways of communicating when was is on holiday. I have so few friends who still take the time to write and send postcards. Most people now only send photos attached to emails which is fine, but for a letter writer like me, I so look forward to the handwritten note on a postcard with a stamp! I too have a photo album of postcards sent to me over the past 50 years,and I love going through them, not only looking at the places visited, but remembering the friends and family that sent the cards.And,as silly as it sounds, when I travel, I send myself a postcard too!

  16. I don’t have just one favorite card, but of course some are more special than others.
    I have done it so long that can’t remember the origin of the act — I send myself a postcard along with others that I might send when we travel. Our collection is a delightful reminder of fun experiences and sometimes the postmarks are particularly attractive. Additionally, I love keeping packets of cards showing the special attractions in the area. And have framed a few cards from special friend. Also I observe Alexandra Stoddards’ plan of buying art postcards to keep and to share when we visit museums.

  17. I love reading your stories and I love reading the comments. It is very sad that everyone I know seem to send you wishes for different occasions on email or face book I do think that is very sad. I do have work email but not face book I love to talk with people who are my family and friends in person but I feel like most people want to do those things on line now days. I treasure and miss the good ole days. Thanks again to you and your readers.

  18. As a ten year old child growing up in northwest Pennsylvania, my parents purchased a Victorian home that at that age seemed to me as magical. Looking through the rooms, I found a box in the back corner of a bedroom closet, a box full of postcards from all over the world dating back to the 1930’s. I loved those postcards of places that at that age, I couldn’t even imagine. I have many happy memories of looking through that box over and over. Fifty five years later, I can say that I have been to many of those places, and as I travel, I always remember to purchase post cards along the way; and if possible I jot a line on them and mail them to my friends and to myself. What a wonderful way to remember my journey, as I receive a post card from my travels.

  19. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to keep writing and sending cards & notes Phyllis. I still send birthday cards to a few friends and also to a few ladies I work with. It’s so sad to see how most people today will just send you a Happy Birthday text or a message on Facebook. This does not replace a phone call or better yet receiving a card & it makes me very sad. I intend to continue sending birthday and Christmas cards, even though I receive fewer each year.

  20. When our oldest son (now 40) was first venturing away from home and into the wide world, his way of journaling about his travels was to write on postcards and mail them home. Now the album where I kept them is a treasure.

  21. I remember as a child, when my father had to travelled to a convention or my grandmother went to Britain they would send home postcards. I looked forward to seeing the mail each day to find what was in it. Then, they would bring home more postcards for us kids. The postcard are still in a box with family photos, sixty years later.

    There is nothing like a hand written note or letter. So warm and personal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *