Postcrossing– A unique hobby of sending and receiving postcards from across the globe

7 Dec


This article is written by Sonali Tharwani. https://www.facebook.com/stharwani

If someone says– “hey, I got a postcard!”– I can imagine what you must be thinking and perfectly more your priceless facial expression. Wait, it’s not that bad.

How does the idea of receiving vibrant, colorful, picturesque postcards from all over the world sound to you? Postcard collecting, technically called as “Postcrossing” is one of my hobbies that wasn’t inflicted on me or borrowed from someone but it rather came from ‘productive net surfing’.


Postcrossing is an online project that allows its members to send and receive real postcards. Once registered you get an option to send 6 postcards to random people in the world. Yes, you read perfectly correct, random people in the world. The website does the selection of people for you and provides you with their addresses, which you can use to send them postcards. Now the big thought, Hey I’ll really need to spend money on that!!?

Yeah, but it’s quite cheap. You have to pay the amount for buying a postcard and around 12 INR for shipping; that’s it. As you start sending postcards and your account is active, you’ll start receiving them too. As you get to send to some random people, someone somewhere across the globe might have received the honor to send you a postcard too.

Once you start receiving postcards you need to register them on the website with a code that comes written on the postcard. This registering will intimate the sender that you’ve received the postcard and if you feel generous you could upload a picture of the postcard and show your gratitude to the sender—not obligatory though. Once people whom you sent postcards receive and register them you can start sending more but not unless they register. Well then, this is all about how it works.

I am dead sure until we all got our bank accounts created and started receiving the letters that forced you to get a damned credit card, we never actually received any mail. But well while receiving postcards even the postman used to wonder what exactly have I done to receive postcards from Finland, London, and so many more ‘foreign’ places 😀

This is kind of similar to Penpal, with the difference that you don’t exactly be friends with people here. This is just like- I sent you a postcard and I got one from someone else! Of course, if you want to be friends with someone, you can send a private message thanking someone for the postcard. You can also request a private swap, where two people can choose to send a post card to each other.

Now what kind of postcards do you exactly send? Well obviously not the yellow blank postcards you get at the post office. It has to be a picture postcard which can be anything such as some famous person, a historical place, a movie postcard, or animals or whatever that appeals to you. And you don’t have a lot of space to write so don’t worry about ‘what do I write’. Keep it simple with a little info about you, your pet or your recent vacation. I have sent more than 50 postcards of the Taj Mahal alone! I have received so many postcards of beaches, chapels and bridges from around the world, it makes me crave to go and actually visit each of these places!

Well all the fun here isn’t just limited to postcards. If you find something striking in someone’s profile you can always ask to exchange more, but don’t be too greedy as sending via airmail does cost a nominal amount.

My postcrossing profile said that ‘I am an Indian gal…would love to receive anything from your side of the planet…I love coffee and I am a die hard Edward Cullen fan’. One fine day some girl sent me a ping and said even she was a Twilight fan and had her room filled with Twilight posters and stuff. I was never more jealous in my life but the kind girl offered  to send me a stickie of Edward, and  yes I was on the cloud no. 9 when I received it. That stickie got a home on my laptop flap.

Another interesting incident– Looking at the ‘I like coffee’ statement on my profile one female offered to exchange tea bags with me. I was sure she isn’t serious so I just let the thought pass by. But after like 16 days, I received a package with my address and Tea bags written in bold script on it. I was surprised! The package included 20 different flavored tea bags plus a written description detailing the flavor of each tea bag. Holy cow, until then I dint even know that we can have so many tea flavors and to my delight every single tea bag was a pleasure incarnate in itself. Some of my favorites amongst those were Vanilla honey, Cranberry, and Mango blossom. I sent her some Indian tea powder in return!

So this is pretty much about my hobby. I did it almost for a year and a half and I gradually reduced it when I got busy with my college work. It’s been very interesting and I have bagged up a good collection of more than 150 postcards, and made some friends from across the globe.

Try it out for yourself, go to http://www.postcrossing.com. Adios!!!

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Sonali Tharwani has completed her BE (IT) from G. S. Moze College of Engineering, Pune University.  Her hobbies include reading small books (mostly fiction), tarot cards, and postcrossing. She is a big fan of the Twilight series and considers Edward Cullen as her dream boy.

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12 Responses to “Postcrossing– A unique hobby of sending and receiving postcards from across the globe”

  1. Rasik December 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Very interesting.

    • Sonali December 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

      Thankie 🙂

  2. seema December 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    REALLY VERY BEAUTIFUL POST CARDS…..and interesting hobby.

    • Sonali December 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

      Thank you Seema, do try it out sometime!

  3. Alta Sowl December 8, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog.

    • Sonali December 9, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Thankie Alta!
      n yeah people on this blog do write pretty impressive stuff 🙂

  4. magiceye December 8, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    hey am a postcrosser from mumbai!

    • Sonali December 9, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Nice to meet you fellow postcrosser!
      Tell me about your collection.

  5. Sosha December 12, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    This seems fun! I love letters and postcards.

  6. JOCURI CU BILE pe JocuricuBile.eu December 31, 2011 at 8:06 am #

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    • Kunal January 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words. We are happy it proved useful 🙂

      Do stop by again. Maybe you might find something again.

  7. Salomėja January 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Great! I am postcrosser from Lithuania for 3 years. The most beautiful time of my day is the postbox checking :). My collection is not very big, only about 300 cards 🙂
    This hobby become so serious that the problem become a little number of nice postcards in my country and online shops. And I decided to open my postcard e-shop (favoritepostcard.com).

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