How did you get involved with the mailing world? (Postcrossing etc)

Out of curiousity, I’d like to know how did you start your journey with mailing :slight_smile:

For me, when I was much younger, around 5 or so, my mom bought my brother and I a stamp album to collect used stamps! Some of my stamps were actually stickers instead of stamps to be honest. But I think that was how I started getting into collecting items. My family traveled a lot when I was younger, so I started becoming quite an enthuasist for collecting things from places I’ve traveled.

Eventually, when I was 16, my mom showed me her collection of letters she’s received when she was younger. It was really at that point in time when I realized that I could write letters to people, learn more about their culture and exchange little local trinklets with everyone. I was more into penpalling than exchanging postcards back then.

I had a hiatus with mailing because of Uni but now I’m back at it again :slight_smile:


Similar to you, I started to collect stamps when I was a primary school student. My mom and dad used to bring some used envelopes back home to me. And I began to buy stamps and exchange with others.

In middle school, I knew many pen pals in different places of my country through a radio program and kept writing letters with them. After that when I went to University in another city, I still got connecting with my former classmates via snail mail.

And then the Internet and cellphone are coming…Almost everybody could be “touched” everywhere. Writing with pen became a sense of ceremony. But they also help me to find more friends who have the same hobbies all around the world.

Thanks a lot to PostCrossing!


Thank you @alyysmail for this interesting topic!
I started collecting stamps when I was eight years old but until very recently I was not interested in :postcard: (actually I even used to cut up postcards for collecting and keep only the stamps :sweat_smile:).
Then I discovered this site by chance in September, thanks to a stranger who showed me the way when I was lost in the Lithuanian countryside. I immediately loved the concept of Postcrossing, and I am very grateful to this person. That’s the reason why I made this suggestion on the forum, don’t hesitate to tell me what you think about it, I think it would be really nice to thank those who make us discover :postcrossing:.
Thank those who presented us with Postcrossing - Postcrossing / Suggestions - Postcrossing Community


When I was little and in primary school, one day our teacher introduced us to “International Penfriends”, where one could order an address of a potential penfriend for 6 Schillings (our currency before the Euro). :slight_smile:

I was intrigued and ordered 1 or 2 addresses.

As I only spoke German at the time my first penfriends were from Upper Austria and Germany.

After I’d started to learn English my first English-speaking penfriends came from Finland.

Through the years I occasionally ordered new addresses. That was before the internet! And the way the system works, my address has been passed on to people too, that suddenly wrote to me!

Then there were so-called “friendship books” or “friendship sheets”, that were passed on from penfriend to penfriend and everyone, who was (still) looking for someone new to write to, could mention their details in a friendship book/on a friendship sheet. When the book/the sheet were full, they were meant to be sent to the person it was made for.

When I was young (very) my granny introduced my brother and me to stamp collecting. She travelled a lot and sent us cards from everywhere and when she came back she cut the stamps off for our collections. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

After a while I said I’d rather keep the whole card WITH the stamp, as I loved that even moreso, than “just” the stamp, but to this day I have some cards with a corner missing. :laughing:

Then, when I was rather old already :wink:, came Postcrossing and I was so totally lucky to have found it very early.

I have wonderful penfriends now, that go all the way back to 1996 or just to this year, and some dear friends, that I have gotten to know through Postcrossing! :heart:

Snailmail, to me, is so wonderful! :heart: :hugs:


We were taught how to write a letter in elementary school. My uncle, who was in the Marines sent me letters from overseas when I was little, sometimes with foreign coins. These were always interesting, as they were sent on airmail stationary and the paper was lighter and had the red and blue striping. I was also taught to write thank you notes for gifts received as a child, so that is how it all started for me.

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Before Postcrossing, I used to write cards/letters for friends and family when I was on vacation, sometimes for birthdays as well if the person in question doesn’t live near me. I also do some volunteering for the social club of my small hometown where I have to send out a lot of mail to members, invited guests and to our city administration every time we have our annual traditional festival.

However it all really started in late 2020, during one of the heigths of the pandemic we had a lot of restrictions regarding social gatherings in Germany and I wanted to keep in touch with certain members of my circle of friends, because not everyone participated in our zoom and skype calls - so that’s why I wrote some Christmas cards, ordered my first pack of stamps and sent them to my friends and their families.

I had so much fun with the whole process of selecting the stamps and writing the cards that I started to wonder if there was a way to send cards to random people or institutions, without starting a whole penpal relationship (I think that’s how most ‘write to an inmate’ or similar caritative programs seem to work), and then I found out about Postcrossing - it was a perfect match! In the beginning I only really wanted to write and send cards myself, but after receiving my first card from abroad I immediately began to appreciate this aspect of Postcrossing as well, and now both sending and receiving are equally fun to me!

my first stamp used on a Postcrossing postcard


When I was little, I really like receiving postcards from my grandma. Then I started studying English when I was 11and I still like postcards and stamps, so I said to my mom that I want to send postcards to someone.
And my mom was a postcrosser, so she changed her profile into mine for me!
I love sending and receiving postcards now.


On a Dutch website, we had a thing going around where you got a pen pal and you had to find out who it was. When we found out the writing stopped, but I loved the getting mail part. I was just 16 at that time.

Fast forward 3 years later, I still wanted to have a pen pal and so I searched online for it. What I found was Postcrossing. As I was still living at home, I had to ask my dad permission of course, as I would be sharing my address. He didn’t like it but agreed to try it out for a bit.
The first postcard I received… welp someone told me she was sharing everything with her friend in prison. Including addresses… My dad was not happy… But after seeing the other cards (and someone sending a lighthouse card which he loved) my dad was okay with it.
I have had a lot of lovely postcards and I still love doing it, even though I barely had time the past few years for it. But slowly I want to start it up again as I missed it.


Honestly, I just did’t want to do my homework and suddenly found some article on postcrossing: how it is working, what are the sites and the rules, how to write down the adddress) First of all, I found it dangerous since it’s strange to give my address (it was 2 days ago), but now I’ve been choosing the postcards to send for 2 days and finally found the best ones suit my addressee, so I am so happy to join this community and I am really excited to have my frist feed-back on received card and, of course, to receive my fristcard too.

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In 2012 I attended offline English classes where I met a young lady who studied at the same university as I graduated from. So, we became friends.
And she told me about postcrossing and gave the first tips :slight_smile:

I know that in a year or so she abandoned postcrossing.

In 2017 I came to work in a new company and met that lady there again!

My introduction to snail mail is mainly thanks to my dad. When we were young, he would go on a lot of teacher training excursions around the province and would always send me postcards home. When I was about 10 I got a subscription to Canada Post Junior Stamp Collectors club for Christmas. I don’t think they have that anymore, but they should! It was a lovely intro to snail mail and stamp collecting. They would send a stamp pack quarterly and a little magazine. My dad showed me how to soak stamps off envelopes to add to my collection.
During my teens I had a few penpals ( friends who had moved away) but then email and the internet took over.
Fast forward to start of Covid as I sat in my house wondering what to do. I began penpalling with my niece and nephew and remembered the fun of writing a letter & choosing fun stamps, maybe sending a small surprise. So that’s when I started looking on the internet and found Postcrossing. And I love it! :heart:


I got involved witht the mailing world about 25 years ago I think. Back in the day I was a huge fan of a band and at a concert met some girls and we decided to become penpals. We also exchanged the so called “friendship books” through which I found some more penpals. Unfortunately with Facebook and social media in this world the letter writing was transferred to the social media sites which was really sad.
I have read about postcrossing on a facebook friends page in 2013 and loved the idea so I have joined this community. No I get real mail again and I found lovely penpals to write with :slight_smile:

I found this group on an an app that is supposed to help me build new habits, called Habatica. I thought it would be super fun!


I think culture has a lot to do with it. It’s very rare in my country to find people interested in this hobby. Since my father is German, my family introduced me to stamp collecting as a child. Also my father and brother used to work in different islands in the caribbean so they sent me cards every time they visited.

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I have always been interested in the mail. I got my first penpal when I was in elementary school (late 1980s) through Owl Magazine (Canadian kid’s nature magazine). I still write to this penpal! When I was in Grade 3 we had a teacher that did a penpal exchange with a class in another province. Like some of you, I also signed up for International Penfriends a few times!
I started postcard exchanging with a penpal in about 2006 and that really got me hooked on postcards and since I have a few postcard pals. I was so excited when I discovered PostCrossing in 2007!

Out of necessity to find some quiet and time in a noisy and busy world. :slightly_smiling_face:

There are many names and diagnosis that I won’t detail, but all of them lead me to a point of exhaustion and isolation from the outside world which the mailing world helps me balance.

In the mailing world I can take my time and still stay connected. Sometimes I might be too exhausted that I have to stop mailing too, but mostly it’s something that helps me manage my energy (or lack of) instead of taking it.

It’s also an activity in which I am more understood if I need to take a break, even if sometimes some people might not understand if I need to stop writing.

All in all, it’s a more comfortable place to be and to communicate than the one outside in the social world so that’s why - and how - I ended up here. :blush:


For me it’s quite a weird story
I was on a train one day with my girlfriend of that time and I was talking about how I wasn’t very happy with the job that I had (working in a grocery store). Then we drove past a PostNL building and I was like maybe I can apply there, so that’s what I did! I applied for a job as a mailman on Saturdays, got hired, and I quickly discovered the beauty of mail and how happy it makes people, which is why I started sending a lot of mail too! My friends are still surprised every time I send them something even though they know me as the mail guy :wink::grin:

Ohw and also, I still work for the postal service, now a lot more days and in February is my 3 year anniversary :grin:


I often write about this on my cards.

My first real connection with snail mail love can when I was three. I saw a little thing on Sesame Street where a little girl puts a letter in a big blue mailbox and then it shows all the people and machines and planes involved in its journey to a friend or relative’s house. And I just thought it was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to talk about it at dinner because at dinner we would talk about our days and my brother and sister, who were in school, always had these amazing stories and now I had one.

My sister’s reaction (she’s seven years older) was “duh, we all know about the mail and by the way that’s not even a new episode of Sesame Street.”

But still I was in love. I collected stamps and eventually did pen palling and friendship books (and slams–anyone do those?) as well as a lot of mail art. And while I’ve been doing mail art the last 11 years, I hadn’t really been writing letters and that’s my only excuse for not hearing about Postcrossing soon. I actually found it because I kept seeing the term on Etsy and finally looked it up and was blown away.

And one year in, no complaints!


When I started writing letters and postcards, snail-mail was still the most common form of long-distance communication. There were phones and telegramms and telex machines - but all that was rather costly.
So letters were the normal way my mother would communicate with her sister and parents in the countryside. But, as opposed to my aunt, she didn’t really like writing. So once I had learnt to read & write and noticed that my Mum was very unenthusiastic when a couple of letters from my aunt had piled up and needed answering… I proposed that I could take over as “the famliy writer”. And so I started exchanging letters with my aunt at - I don’t remember - 8, 9, 10 (???) years old…