Extremely long travel times

I was staggered to receive a message from a fellow Postcrosser who received a card this year: It was sent in 2022!


I received a message today from a user in Ukraine asking how he could register the postcard he received from me… that I had mailed SEVEN YEARS ago!!! Wow!!! I wish postcard US-4798072 could share its story!
Last year I received a postcard from a friend that traveled over a year. I almost didn’t realize it because the month and date seemed correct, but I remembered her vacation had been the previous year!!
What are some of the longest traveling postcards you have sent or received?


We already have a thread to discuss this


Seven years, wow! That is absolutely crazy. I guess it could have ended up in many different locations on its (extremely) long journey home. OR, it could have simply fallen down under some counter at one of the many mail sorting centers and was found after years and years by some hard working clerk who then hurried to send it on its way… Who knows. Indeed, wish the card could tell its story.


I’m new to Postcrossing, and only 8 of the 14 total cards I’ve sent so far have actually arrived at their destination. But the card that shows the longest journey before being registered was about 37 days. I mailed it March 28th and it was registered May 4th.

The other cards that were successfully received all only took between 12 and 18 days. I unfortunately have 2 out that are at the 57 day mark, and will soon expire, and 2 out at the 35 day mark. We’ll see if they ever arrive. One of the 57 day ones was to someone in my own country, so I can’t help but wonder if those 2 cards just had something happen to them. Having two instances in which I mailed two at once both not being registered yet makes me now think that perhaps I will avoid mailing out more than one at the same time.


Wow!! Almost 7 years :face_holding_back_tears: that’s so long travel time, but I’m happy it finally got delivered safely :blush:

I’m not sure what the average travel time from the US to Cyprus is, but I had a card arrive after 209 days. I really have to wonder about the journey it took to get there…


You need to pay attention to the registration details of the recipients? Have they been registering other cards since you sent yours? Do they register at intervals like every few weeks?

I don’t think mailing only one per day is going to make a difference.

I have received your card as well! :face_holding_back_tears:

Thank you - and I am sorry it couldn’t be registered in time.
(I’d be happy to send you one in return if you’re willing to PM me your address - hoping this one won’t take two years! :slight_smile: )

It was dated Sept 3rd 2022 - and postmarked Sept 21st 2022

(I came here to post about this, and found you in the thread already…)

I know the one year cutover date is in place for a good reason - and also that we should never register cards we don’t actually receive. But with wars going on - and postal services going wild - maybe it’s time to rethink the limits, or find room for some exceptions? @paulo @meiadeleite)

[Asking from a more technical point of view: with the latest code, the system still knows this was a card from @ilzeb to @lamelemon - even if the card is past the 1 year mark. I think it is good that past one year it is no longer counted in travelling stats for the both of us - else longterm such cards may block us from sending or receiving, if too many pile up. And I can understand that in the old way - when we didn’t “remember” anything about a card traveling for more than one year - the connection between the card and the sender and/or recipient was broken. But with the new logic in place - now that the recipient sees who was the sender - what is preventing the card from being registered past the one year mark?]

(Thanks for all of your hard work in keeping this wonderful project alive - I don’t mean to sound demanding or picky or anything - it’s mostly curiosity :smiley: )


In reality, it’s not the “system” that knows this. We keep a separate, very simple text log of all the postcards that were requested in Postcrossing, and we can open this file to search for a sender (if the Postcard ID is correct).

BUT, we don’t want these (millions of) older records on our working database (what I would call the system itself), which we need to use constantly. For instance, every time someone requests an address, this database is checked for different things and each of these queries takes a fraction of a second. The more records there are to go through, the more time these queries will take… and the slower the website will be for everyone.

Plus, what would be a reasonable timeframe to consider here? One can always argue for longer time periods in the hopes of catching some stray postcards here and there, but the number of postcards that arrives past the one year date is really residual. Moreover, longer time periods would have a non-insignificant impact on the moral of the people sending postcards, who would have their cards stuck as expired for longer.

So we still think one year is still a good balance for Postcrossing. It’s unfortunate that some postal operators are going through difficult periods, but this is not something we can plan for or control — often, we don’t even know if they will eventually recover from their crisis. :frowning:

I hope that helps bring some light on this difficult but interesting topic!


Thank you for addressing this, yes, it does :slight_smile:
I agree that the system is well balanced as it is - with so many things to take into account in bringing as much equity and fairness as reasonable to all members.

I was thinking, yes, “forget” about the postcards traveling for one year, but allow them to be registered anyway should they ever resurface.
But that would open a few can of worms - what if those people redraw one another after one year, and there’s a new card on the way between them? (It has happened before :slight_smile: )
And how to handle “forgotten” cards when somebody closes their account… Too many things to tamper with, for a very rare event, indeed.

Not a Postcrossing card but yesterday I received a card my son sent me from his holidays in South Africa on the 1st November 2022! We were sure it was forever lost.


Oh my word!
Postcrossing must think I’m such a bad guy, not sending and here my cards are trickling through, one after the next. Yours must be the fourth of about seven messages I’ve received about cards that arrived more than a year after having been sent.
Thanks for letting me know.


Postcrossing knows, that your mail service is broke. At least that was mentioned in this forum several times.


Same here! I once mailed 2 cards to persons in different countries together, but they never arrived (or were registered). Since then I really don’t like sending more than 1 at a time from the same mailbox … but fortunately there are more than 1 mailboxes around my place.

1 Like