Heading out to Fukuoka tomorrow!
Japanese friends, any advice about where to visit for stationery goods??
Recently, a fellow blogger asked how I connect with people who love snail mail as much as I do. In this post, I’ll list some sites/projects that have helped me find and maintain pen pals all over the world. Surprisingly, letter writing isn’t as much of a dying art as people tend to think. I’ve found that there still many people who continue to write and send mail. Do you participate in these projects or know of any others? Check these out and hopefully you’ll meet a few pen-pals along the way!
What is it? “It’s a project that allows anyone to receive postcards (real ones, not electronic) from random places in the world.” I have received 362 postcards and sent 359 – been a member for 3 years.
LOVE: It’s super easy. Every postcard you send out, you’ll get one in return. It’s great because sending postcards is more affordable than packages. It’s totally random and you have the opportunity to meet people from all over. Great for postcard and stamp collectors.
MEH: Some people write a line or two and you never really get to know them. After you receive their postcard you can thank them… but that’s usually where it ends. Sometimes users are interested in private swaps, but it generally ends up being a one-for-one swap.
What is it? “On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world.” I have completed 43 swaps with a rating of 5.0 since April 2014.
LOVE: Not limited to postcards, you can send and receive tons of stuff: generally stationery, art trading cards, washi tape, paper goods, tea, samples etc (the list is endless). Easy instructions and a good way to connect. Go for the “pen-pal” or “long letter” swaps, generally people continue writing… even after the swap has ended.
MEH: People are hardcore about swaps here. If you flake out and don’t send… everyone gets upset (for obvious reasons) so don’t join this if you aren’t serious about sending things out. If your rating is low you’ll basically be banished so choose swaps wisely and send only when/if you can.
What is it? “A monthly snail mail exchange where you can make international pen friends.”
LOVE: There is a different theme every month and guideline of $7 or less per package. You must email your partner to get to know them before you send the package. You’re paired with a different partner each month. You can participate monthly or join in intermittently whenever you want.
MEH: Each package should have a tracking number when shipped. Since it’s considered registered mail it could become costly depending on where you live.
These are the three sites that I use most frequently.
Here are some other great ways to make pen friends….
- Happster Mail
- Facebook Groups: ie. Penpal Fever, Penpal all over the world etc.
- Instagram: #snailmail, #penpalrevolution, #penpaling, #penpalswanted etc.
- Or you could start a blog (if you don’t already have one).
Happy mailing, everyone!!
Today’s outgoing mail! Some letters going out to Tamara, Marlene and Carmen… a postcard to Melissa and little packages to Tomomi and Jessica.
Some recent incoming mail: Sarah from Philadelphia (an amazing wedding card – I love it!!), Renate from Germany, Tone from Norway and Thea from Australia! Thank you, everyone!~
A stack of letters has accumulated over the last week. These lovely ladies sent amazing cards, as usual! So grateful to have such amazing pen pals.
A victorian style stationery set with a Hello Kitty envelope: From Anne in Canada
A letter with an”Old Town Alexandria” Postcard and a beautiful birthday card: From Sarah
and finally… From Debbie in the UK. She makes her own envelopes and has some incredible mail art. A very talented lady 🙂
I love each and every one of these! Thank you 😀
Thank you to those who still believe in the art of letter writing.
You guys are truly amazing!