ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Postcrossing: Falling in Love with Your Mailbox

Updated on March 6, 2018
kallini2010 profile image

Kallini is an amazingly intelligent woman who is easily understood. She is wise, and funny. An entertainer - philosopher at heart.


There is a dash of humour in this article. Pay attention and don't forget to use your own best judgment.

Postcrossing is a global project connecting people by providing an opportunity to exchange postcards. You send a postcard to a random stranger and get a postcard back from another total stranger. The essence of “the exchange” is that you cross ways only once regardless whether you are a sender or a recipient in this chance encounter.

Postcrossing Versus Playing Lottery

Like in playing lottery, the hook is not in winning – if it was, most people would not play. The joy in playing lottery or gambling is the excitement of anticipation. You experience the emotional high between or at the time you purchase your ticket or place your bet and learn that you lost. Again.

You Fall in Love with Your Mailbox

Just like any hobby postcrossing is highly addictive. Now you get addicted to visiting your mailbox. "Has it arrived yet? Do I get a card today?"

No, not today. Your heart sinks. Maybe tomorrow. Nothing again. And then! You do receive a postcard, a beautiful postcard from Japan, Mongolia, Brazil or Spain, with beautiful Japanese, Mongolian, Brazilian or Spanish stamps and a heart-warming message from a total stranger. Exciting? You bet. And unlike tons and megatons of our virtual electronic relationships and communications, this postcard is yours to keep. Forever and ever.

The thing with addiction, though, your heart jumps, but then soon it sinks and you want another one and another one and another one.

Well, you know the drill.

How much?

A fancy mailbox
A fancy mailbox | Source

Postcrossing is a relatively expensive hobby. You have to buy postcards and postage. Of course, it depends on how many cards you send - you can send one, two, five per month and be reasonable. Right.

But think about other popular hobbies/addictions:

1. Consuming alcohol

2. Smoking

4. Playing lottery

5. Gambling

6. Paying for "services" you don't need

The thing is – with lottery and gambling and such – you spend (lose) the money and have nothing to show for it except for maybe a debt.

With postcrossing you might end up spending just as much if not more depending on how addicted you become, but in return you get to keep the postcards, the memories and maybe make a few connections, learn about other places. A postcard may be just a beginning of discovering the world.

A Video by a German Postcrosser


Surprisingly, postcrossing may very well be the beginning of discovering the place, the city and the country you live in. It's like one begins learning in earnest only when he begins teaching. Try it. It's the same thing.

Did You Know?

No, I Did Not

I did not know that CN Tower stood for Canada's National Tower. I don't know why I have never even wondered.

I had no idea I could see one of the seven wonders of the modern world from my balcony. Well, now I do.

Simply because I did not know what to write on a postcard, I became motivated to learn more about my own city.

The CN Tower shares this designation with the Itaipu Dam on the Brazil/Paraguay border, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Panama Canal, the Chunnel under the English Channel, the North Sea Protection Works off the European coast, and the Empire State Building.

Think About It

Does it sound tempting for you to try?

See results

Let's Say

Let’s say you decided to try. The first most frustrating thing is waiting. When you join you are allowed to mail only five cards. Depending on the destination, it might take you a month if not more to get your first card back. Waiting is a killer.


Caravan in the golden sands
Caravan in the golden sands | Source

Before You Begin

Set up an account – it’s easy. The club is free. Buy up to five generic “touristy” postcards with a view of your city or a particular landmark or the one reflecting your culture. You can buy the same cards, just don’t choose boring “It’ll do” ones – sloppiness always shows. You’ll never be “punished” for sending out lousy postcards, but soon enough members will figure out what kind of person you are and won’t be all too eager to send you good ones.

All You Need at First

All you need at first

  1. Username
  2. Password
  3. Your address

The rest - things like avatar, profile, male/female, swapping options - you can do later.


You can change your username only twice,

so choose wisely

Most people write an address by hand. Just make sure it's legible.
Most people write an address by hand. Just make sure it's legible. | Source



The way you write your postal address is the way the senders should write it. The Canadian standard prescribes to use all capital letters. I cannot possibly ask anyone to write my address on a postcard where there is barely enough space for the handwritten version. So, I wrote my address in more human form in sentence case like all normal people do. The only exception is the country name - write it in all capital letters on a separate (last) line.

Proper Canadian Address





My card from Japan arrived with address printed just as Canada Post likes it.


There are ways around everything. You can print out the address on a letter address label. It's even recommended for the mail going to China - printed Chinese address will decrease the probability of the card being lost.

【ATTENTION】I’d strongly recommend that using my CHINESE ADDRESS. Translating address will take much time than your imagination because of the poor efficiency of China Post. Writing the hieroglyph is also a fun for postcrossing.:)

— user - bugs7 from China

Print It Out

If you don't know how to write hieroglyphics, chances are you will mess it up beyond any recognition and your postcard will never arrive. I don't see how it's any fun.

Better Safe than Sorry

The Chinese address - both versions - Latin letters and Chinese hieroglyphics
The Chinese address - both versions - Latin letters and Chinese hieroglyphics | Source

How to Send a Postcard

To Send a Postcard

Request an address.

Agree to conditions.

You get a unique card number (for example - DE-111, CA-1122, RU-1234), and the address of the recipient together with their username and profile, of course.

Pay Attention:

Card ID and Recipient's Address are vitally important


  1. Read the recipient’s profile carefully.
  2. Pay attention to what a recipient doesn't want.
  3. Choose a card accordingly.
  4. Choose ink which doesn't smudge easily.
  5. Write the address.
  6. Write the card ID legibly in a place where it won’t be obscured by postage.
  7. Write the date.
  8. Write the message.
  9. Write your name (first name only).




Greetings from...


A Postcard Is an Open Letter

Remember that a postcard is an open letter. If it can be read by anyone in the world, it may very well be. So, write the most generic message you can think of.

Such as

"I live in Toronto, the most multicultural city in the world."

"I speak five languages, but understand only two of them".

Space Eaters

At first, writing to a stranger might feel awkward and intimidating. In that case, use some space eaters.

1. Write a line or two in your own language with the translation. There you go - four lines.

2. Use larger letters.

3. Indicate the weather and temperature.

4. Use large stamps.

"Today was a good day. Yesterday wasn't. I hope tomorrow we'll get a terrestrial rain and a change in the political climate".

Swedish Stamps

Stamps, stamps, stamps
Stamps, stamps, stamps | Source

You Can Safely Share

  • Your favourite quote
  • The last movie you watched
  • The last book you read
  • The last country you visited
  • The last time you had a major fight with your mother
  • Mention what you have in common with the recipient
  • Mention what you like to do
  • Best feature of your city
  • Why you like your city
  • Did you know?

Just like you

On my good days I study sociology

On my bad days I interrogate my neighbours

Personal Experience: Your First Cards Will Not Be Perfect

I was stuck when I wrote my first cards and I believe I did a poor job. However, I don’t remember what I said exactly – messages were different.

Two ladies said thank you and one said “thank you for the great joke”. Kill me if I remember what joke I wrote. After that I've decided to keep the photocopy of my cards.

Besides, I forgot to write my name.

If You Paid Attention

Speaking of mistakes: if you paid attention, the video creator made one consistent mistake: he meant "losses" and always wrote "loses". But the fact is, the message was perfectly clear.

Common Endings

All the best,

Take care,

Happy Postcrossing,

Forever yours,

We shall never meet again,

But really.

Really, you can think for yourself.

Your first cards won't be perfect, but soon you'll get the hang of it.

Good luck,

Strictly Speaking

You can try without trying:

Just create an account and browse

Articles about Postcrossing

© 2017 kallini2010


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      15 months ago from Toronto, Canada


      I'll tell you the same as I told Flourish - just mail your five cards. It won't break your budget. Your grandkids will be ecstatic.

      (I asked for a Llama for Daniel and I'm sure it'll soon arrive). I already have an elephant. Once I get a Giraffe, my "family" would be complete.

      Besides, you have an advantage over both of us - South Africa takes 42nd place on the list of how many postcards are sent from a particular country. Every card of yours would be appreciated twice if not three, four, five times as much as ours.

      Just pick more South Africa specific cards rather than Season's Greetings or cute cats.

      I really hope you do so. Just five cards.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      15 months ago from Toronto, Canada


      you'd be surprised - I've learned about postcrossing from HubPages five years ago. Back then it sounded great, but instructions were too convoluted and I did not bother. I wish I did, so that by now I would have a truckload of cards.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      15 months ago from South Africa

      I love to collect stamps, and cards, and personal messages, so postcrossing is a hobby right up my street.

      Thanks for bringing this hobby under my attention, Svetlana! Your albums were a feast for my eyes.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      15 months ago from USA

      You make it sound even more exciting. You should submit this to HobbyLark. Crossposting is like pen pals 2.0, brief, one-time interactions, many connections.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      15 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello Flourish:

      I think all of them are unusual because they feel so personal.

      It's heartwarming to hear that you made someone's day. Certainly when I receive a card - it's so exciting!

      When will I get the next one? Seriously, when?

      What is disarming is that people try sending postcards you wish to receive. I wished for a card from an exotic country (chances of getting those are next to nothing) and I said "If you are from Germany etc., I'd love to..."

      So, my first card came, I thought from Mongolia, but no, from Germany - with the beautiful Mongolian woman in their national costume. Simply gorgeous.

      The second was an elephant and a baby (also as per my request). In one of my many intermediate profiles I asked for a sender's favourite song and I got one - Bellyache by Billie Eilish - never heard of it, but I loved it.

      And feedback - such as "thank you for..." or "I really enjoyed reading your profile..." (my favourite) or someone offering to send me a card just because I liked it. So far I said "no", but it was so nice to receive an offer.

      Honestly, I strongly recommend trying it - you send your first five postcards, receive your five postcards and decide if it's worth your while. In any case you can make an account and just see for yourself without spending a cent.

      I'll probably write a bit more about it - for example, how to write a profile or select a card.

      I hope you'll give it a try and let me feel like the greatest seductress of a century! Well, something like that.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      15 months ago from USA

      I've never heard of this but it sounds like a lot of fun and a good way to learn a bit about the whole world over. Have you gotten any unusual postcards or messages?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)