So, folks, in my attempt to take a moderate hiatus from frequent blogging, I’ve been holding out on you: I’ve been sitting on the best incoming mail post of all time for the past few weeks. Before 2017, I had received mail from only three of the world’s continents – Europe, North America, and South America.
And now I can add Antartica to that thrilling list!
If you’re gazing at these adorable penguin postmarks and wishing you too could be so lucky to see them in your mailbox, fear not! Any citizen of the world can request up to two philatelic postal covers per year from the U.S. research station, McMurdo, down south. The entire experience has been utterly magical from start to finish – maybe you’ll join me and try it out yourself?
When I first discovered the National Science Foundation’s guide to obtaining philatelic Antarctica mail, I was overjoyed. The notion of sending a self-addressed envelope all the way to the far reaches of the globe with a single US Forever Stamp (since it’s technically an American research station – if you’re from outside of the US but want one of your own, you just have to include usual international postage for a letter to the states) felt too incredible to believe.
To be precise, I could have used a Forever stamp but instead decided on applying a column of three Additional Ounce penguin stamps (which was overpaying by a bit, but PENGUINS!).
To get yourself a “cover,” just place a self-addressed, stamped envelope into a normal envelope addressed to McMurdo, and the kindly philatelic mail clerk (I really doubt you’re reading my silly blog post from Antartica, but in the event that you are, please know that you are the best!) will return your SASE with a postmark…
…and a few extra treats! I can’t believe that they stamped my envelope with belly-sliding Emperor penguins, but I’m delighted nonetheless!
Now, I suppose that with the two-per-year maximum I could conceivably request another envelope from the land of glaciers and gliding seabirds – though I think I am perfectly satisfied with this single adorable envelope.
If this post inspires you to try out Antartica mail, let me know how it goes! I’d love to see if that wonderful mail clerk uses any different penguins on your letters…