A Year in Letters

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I first became officially involved in the snail mail/pen pal community on New Year’s Day in 2015–part of my yearly resolution of making new friends and getting to know other people. It was an exciting, terrifying, delightful idea: writing to strangers around the world and relying on pen and paper to share a conversation appealed to my extremely introverted soul.

And so it began.

Now, as 2016 draws to a close, I’ve been sorting through my year’s worth of correspondence and enjoying the opportunity to reflect on the friendships I’ve made, the new cultures I’ve encountered–and all the stamps I’ve bought. Before I go off on my winter vacation, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the snail mail of 2015, with its many postcards, enclosed tea bags, instax photos of faraway friends, and unfamiliar zip codes.

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I keep letters sorted in folders by person, which I then alphabetize in my letter-box for easy access. This year’s mail goes all the way from Ana to Zoe!

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As any dedicated pen pal aficionado knows, sometimes your snail mail buddies will just vanish off the face of the Earth–leaving you with a bunch of old letters and lots of questions. In my experience, people often get too busy to write at some point, and may stop correspondence without warning.

Some letter-writers in the snail mail community eventually throw away envelopes and messages from those who never wrote back, but I enjoy keeping all of my letters (for now!): each of them has a story to tell, and I delight in looking back on them no matter how the penfriendship ended.

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Many folks, however, do write back–over and over and over again!

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This year, I’ve received letters from:

Europe ♥ France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom

North America ♥ Canada, Utah, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, Arkansas, Wisconsin

Australia ♥ 

One final announcement! As we head into 2016, I might be on the lookout for a few new pen pals–so if you’re a snail mailer who reads my blog, send me an email and say hi! My only preferences are that you:

  •  identify as female
  • are over 20 years old
  • share at least some interests with me (if you’ve seen any of my posts at all, you’ll probably have a good idea of what I’m into!)
  • introduce yourself in a way that involves a little more than just saying be my pen pal?

To all of my fellow letter-writers–best wishes for a new year full of quickly-delivered mail and no increases in Forever Stamp prices!

6 thoughts on “A Year in Letters

  1. You’ve gotten so many letters from different places – none from Ireland though!
    I love keeping all my old letters, although they’re not all that old really because I only started in on the snail mail world at the beginning of summer when I finished at college. My goal for the start of 2016 though is to properly sort out my storage system for my letters – my box has gotten somewhat messy!

    • Oh me too–my box was so chaotic until I sorted things out recently! I always think that there has to be a better way of keeping them all in line…I just haven’t quite worked it out yet!

  2. Pingback: A Year in Letters: 2016 Edition! | mailbox mermaid

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