Going Postal: A Drop in the Ocean

Sweet #16 of the Going Postal syndicated public radio column.  (I can dream, right?)

I can’t say I’m disappointed to blow February a kiss goodbye.  There were definitely some amazing moments (I presented at my first ever history conference, I photographed Trooper from in the media pit, and everybody loves getting a week off school) but it was a pretty bland month otherwise.  According to Postcrossing’s stats, February didn’t show my mailbox much love either…

“Days your mailbox was happy: 3” –Postcrossing, February statistics

My three postcards all came from Northern Europe. Germany is my top country in terms of correspondence and I’ve only recently changed my Postcrossing preferences to try and get more to/from other countries.

I should mention that my received postcard from Russia somehow got lost, as if it was meant to arrive a week before Valentine’s Day.  Alena from Ekaterinburg must have thought I didn’t care about her because her card was registered after only 125 days!  While Russia’s post tends to be Stone-Age-slow (I have three currently travelling each at 48 days, the fastest I’ve sent has been 28), I was very grateful that it finally arrived.  That’s why we Postcrossers spend copious amounts of money and time buying small pieces of paper and affixing even smaller pieces of paper to them, writing meaningful (or quick, but mine are usually well thought out) short messages, stories, introductions, recommendations, weather forecasts and well-wishes only to put them in a box and wait for them to disappear over the horizon, hoping they arrive in one piece: we love it.

As Postcrossing’s own website explains, “The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises – and who wouldn’t like that?”

There’s no surprise there.

I was slightly more prolific in sending postcards in February, so while my mailbox may not have been feeling the love, I like to think my actions made other peoples’ days.  In total I sent eight postcards to Russia, Poland, the USA, the UK, Spain, Belarus, and two to Germany.

My sent countries. Oh Germany, how you dominate…

(Comparing postal speeds, my card to the UK only took 6 days to be registered…)  I had some amazing cards this month, even though low in number, and I hope I made some Europeans (and an American) happy.  Most of the cards I sent were themed around the West Coast, many featuring boats or marine animals, because I was sending from a stockpile of tourist cards that I purchased over Christmas from Laughing Oyster Bookshop in Courtenay.  Two of them were uploaded to Postcrossing: CA-318787 and CA-318760 and were favourited by the community.

My eight postcards (and even more-so, my three received cards) represent a very small portion of Postcrossing’s volume.  My marine-themed cards truly are just drops in the philatelic ocean.  My country rankings are pretty pathetic: ranking by distance (how far my sent cards travelled as compared to other Canadian members) was 1,190th and my country ranking by number sent was 1,307th out of 5,806 members…  (Canada actually does quite well in Postcrossing, being ranked 13th with 289,274 cards sent.  Learn more about Postcrossing stats here.)

I’ve now sent 50 registered cards (with 4 still travelling) through Postcrossing, made some great friends, and been introduced to some interesting places.  I suppose it’s a milestone, but I’m hoping to send out a bunch more this month and keep this love alive.  Will March be in like a lion?


While you’re at it, check out this amazing article and accompanying TED talk about a love letter project from Hannah Brencher.  Very February themed, even if I didn’t receive much love from Postcrossing.

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