To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Every week, I send and receive letters that travel to places I’ve never been–and they end up in the hands of people I’ve never met. If you’re feeling trapped and sad in your comparatively dull little world, there’s nothing I’d suggest more than finding a pen pal or two.
While I remained physically in Massachusetts this week, a beautiful trio of letters sent me on a hand-written journey to Italy, Spain, and Ireland. That’ll have to do until the day that I can randomly jet off to Greenland like Ben Stiller!
Though I dearly love all of my American pen pals, I do get a secret, extra thrill every time I get a letter from abroad: as international mail means international postage! I’m pretty familiar with every USPS offering by this point, so foreign postmarks are a delight.
As usual, Emma of Puddle Side Musings continues to be a mail art inspiration of mine! She sent me a booklet-style letter in a gorgeous envelope, and I can’t get over how pretty this paper is. It’s the perfect woodsy choice: I particularly love the ferns and scribbled notes in the design…
Speaking of snail mail inspiration…here’s the latest from Spain! Claudia and I enjoy talking about art history, and I’m always excited to see what painting she’ll feature on her envelopes next. I’m also in love with these old Magyar Posta stamps, which are apparently from the Hungarian post originally–so I guess I can sort of add Eastern Europe to my mail checklist now? (Since my ancestors are from Eastern Europe, I’d love to find a pen pal from the area someday: I have the north, west, and south of the continent pretty well covered already!)
Finally, I’m excited to share one very special letter–an incoming note from my younger sister, who’s currently spending a semester abroad in Italy. Unlike me, she’s an actual artist, and I loved the little doodles with which she decorated her envelope! The quote, which inspired this post’s title, references our mutual love for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Since I hope to visit her there sometime this spring, the quote is doubly significant: a reminder of how much I would like to see the world, even if it takes lots of courage to get out there.