I've been collecting postcards for years. I don't remember when it started, but it became the one souvenir I wanted from each place I went. I also wanted people to send me postcards from their trips.
For a little while in college, I belonged to a postcard community on Livejournal. I loved it, and it was a ton of fun, but I went a bit too gung-ho and spent so much money on postage that I had to stop. Plus, finals rolled around and time got away from me.
But I still asked people to send me stuff, and still picked them up myself.
A few months ago, while I was at an event for my most recent film, I was sitting around and talking to one of the journalists that I had gotten to know. She said that she decided to start sending postcards as a hobby, and that she had set up a webpage for it to get random addresses and try to send a certain number over the course of a year.
Talking to Jacqueline got me excited about postcards again. But for a few months I still only sent them to her, which was great. We started sending cards back and forth from our travels, and I loved stopping at airport gift shops to pick out a card for her every time I went somewhere.
Then she posted about this website called Postcrossing. The idea of it is just that you sign up to send a card to somebody (usually in another country) and when they say that they received it, the site gives your address to a random person to get a card.
In the midst of this, I was cleaning up my house and sorted through this giant box of stationary that I have. I realized I still had silly girly stationary from when I was a kid, stuff I'd never send for anything official now, and probably wouldn't even send to most people.
So a few weeks ago, I signed up for Postcrossing to clear out my inventory of old postcards and I started sending my friends letters on cheesy Lisa Frank paper. It's been a ton of fun, I've gotten a few cards back but getting mail in return wasn't my primary goal, just a nice reward. I've gotten several really awesome cards from all over the world already.
I went through my old box where I store all my mail I've gotten over the years, and I found stacks of letters from pen pals that I met at summer camps, random people from high school that I mailed letters to during the summer...it was just this nice feeling, having these letters in my hand. So I decided I was just going to send some more mail.
There's a challenge every year called "A Month of Letters" that I just missed this year. I plan to do it next year, but in the meantime I'm just making a bigger effort to send more mail.