‘Tis the season to reflect on another wonderful year of snail mail! Once again, I am astounded and delighted by how many lovely people I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” ever since I decided to start sending mail to random fellow humans around the globe at the start of 2015. I feel very honored to share a letter-writing-relationship with you!
For me, penpalling is all about making friends and glimpsing life outside of my tiny New England town. I’m certainly not in it just to check countries off a list, but after a year of writing I always find it fun to take note of the places from which I’ve received mail. Over the past twelve months, I’ve had the pleasure of sending letters to twelve different countries in Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. Where will my mail travel next? Only 2017 can tell!
(Before you read on, you might want to check out my first “A Year in Letters” post from 2015 to see how my snail mail network has expanded this year!)
This year, I had to upgrade my letter storage to two shoeboxes! (High-tech and high-class as ever.) I continue to sort my incoming mail by sender, and then date. The first box contains alphabetized pen pals A-G, and the second holds H-Z.
Throughout the course of 2016, I exchanged letters with friends new & old from:
♥ Europe & neighboring islands ♥ France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Ireland, the U.K., and Iceland
♥ North America ♥ Canada and 9 U.S. states
♥ Australia ♥
♥ South America ♥ Argentina
I admired many international postage stamps, including these landscapes from Canada, Iceland, and Norway!
This German stamp is the longest one I’ve ever seen.
Some beautifully coordinated stamps from Ireland!
I think I’m just obsessed with Icelandic stamps in general.
The postcard-clotheslines in my room are nearly full: guess it’s time to add a few more for the new year!
To close, I want to thank those of my pen pals who might be reading this (hi there!) for being kindred spirits and cutting your way through all of the unnecessary tape I use to hold my homemade envelopes together (sorry about that). You might not guess it from my bubbly, exclamation-point-heavy prose style and tendency to post public photos of my quirky outfits, but I’m actually a rather shy person in reality–so these quiet handwritten friendships are very meaningful and special to me. I’ve written to you while sitting on my couch, in airplane seats, and by train windows. I’ve read your replies during summertime lunch breaks, bleak and snowy evenings, and moments when I’ve felt lonely and sad or cheerful and eager to chat with a friend. It’s surreal to think that our paths in our respective corners of the globe may have never intersected without snail mail and the Internet: I’m awfully glad they did.
Here’s to a stamp-filled 2017!