Postcards With a View

There is  an art to writing the perfect postcard to someone back home.  Too often people rely on the obvious: where they are, the weather, and the ubiquitous “wish you were here.”  Boo!  Hiss!  A post card can be so much more!

Let’s back up, though.

Buying something for everyone that either asks you to, or that you are thinking of, can be a taxing and tedious process.  There is so much stress that comes along with trying to buy just the right gift for the right person.  In the end, everyone ends up with forgettable tourist trinkets that you get the privilege of dragging back in your suitcase.

Instead, consider a postcard.  They are inexpensive and personal, and to most people, far more meaningful than a six inch replica of “David” or a magnet of the Tower of London.

Post card selection is key.  Before you begin shopping for cards have a list of people you will be sending cards to, so that you know how many you ‘ll need to find.  You can buy them in bulk or send each person a card selected personally for them.  A good card is more than just a pretty picture.  It should be interesting to look at, it should not be obscene or vulgar (I’m looking at you, Amsterdam postcard vendors), and it should reflect something you have seen or experienced on your trip.  Next comes the part many people dread, and what unfortunately has killed off postcards in the minds of so many, the actual writing.  I suggest sitting down and knocking out all of your cards at one time.  It’s far better to do them all at once, than to write them piecemeal, and run the risk of not sending one because you “didn’t get to it.”

So what to write?

A well written postcard can include any or all of the following:

  1. A description of what surrounds you – a market, a square, a café, the quiet of your hotel room
  2. What you have done on your trip
  3. Your overall impressions of where you are
  4. Something specific that you have seen or were surprised by
  5. What are the plans for the rest of your trip

That’s it!  You can do it!  The key to a great postcard is to be descriptive, and really attempt to paint a picture of what it is that you experiencing on your trip.  Finally, you can mail your cards.  Most hotels either sale stamps or can post the stamps for you, and are happy to do so.

Go ahead!  Use the mail service and give someone a gift they will truly treasure.


Categories: Thoughts


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2 Comments on “Postcards With a View”

  1. The Merwin Family
    September 17, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    we always enjoy the unexpected surprise of one of your postcards in the mail; handwritten correspondence is a novelty these days.

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