I love getting mail. Real mail, snail mail, things that aren’t asking for money, things I haven’t ordered on Amazon or Wiggle (well I do love getting those too!), things that I don’t know are coming. It’s a rare treat nowadays, possibly due to my age, it really only happens around my birthday and the occasional wedding invitation.
For this reason I love to spontaneously send my friends cards, little gifts or even a letter when it’s not their birthday or a special occasion. I’m actually terrible at remembering special dates and being organised enough to do something about it, but this is my way of letting them know I’m thinking of them at other times too. Sometimes it’s just what they need, and it might come along at exactly the time they need it most.
I find it fascinating that for centuries this was the only way of sending a message to someone in another town or country, and there’s something very romantic about not knowing when it’ll arrive, when they’ll open and read it, or when you might get a reply. I wonder about friendships and relationships that may have come to an end as a result of missing post.
While I’m travelling, communication is so important to me. I can do everything I need to on my phone – book transport and accommodation, keep in touch with family and friends back home and contact new friends along the way. I always imagine what it would have been like to do the same even just 20 years ago.
Sometimes I’m creative with what I send, but usually it’s just a case of “I saw this and thought of you.” Either way, it’s likely to be seen and appreciated for longer than a text message. So, instead of Whatsapping a photo to them, I’ll send them the actual thing (when physically and financially possible of course).
I made hundreds of postcards for an art exhibition years ago, so now and again I’ll send one of them in the post, it’s what they were originally intended for!
It may only be small, and requires very little effort or money, but it could mean the world to someone.