How do you deal with anticipation while waiting for cards to travel?

Another thing I do is swapping on Instagram under the postcrossing and postcardswap hashtags.

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Welcome to Postcrossing.
I was in the same boat a year ago. Organize. Twiddle thumbs. Wait.
Then, a Postcrosser recommended I check out the Forum. Good suggestion!
I have thorough enjoyed such fora as Many Themes, Write Back my Postcard, various lotteries, NA exchanges such as NA traveling envelopes, Monthly Round Robin/Canadian Edition, All About Women and so much more!
Have a look! I am certain you’ll find something of interest while you wait for official cards. Which will be a while …
Have fun … ! :partying_face:


I’m a newbie too, I joined less than 2 months ago. So far, I have done all the things you’ve said (especially the tags!), I even participated in a mini round robin and I promise they’re not as complicated as they look :wink:

I also backread the forum extensively, went postcard hunting around the city and went to the philatelic office at the post. Oh, and I watched quite a few videos of other postcrossers showing off their cards on YouTube.
But mostly, I’m learning patience: I enjoy receiving new cards, but I also like to take my time to prepare a card to send to someone else :grinning:


Excellent suggestions! :rose:


Besides the newbies lottery you can join, I enjoy the EVERYTHING ELSE section. I like a section where you take a picture of your sky, or outside your window… they are amazing. :heart_eyes:

You can also go to a section - don’t know how to get there without clicking around-where people brag about their postcards. :heart:

Have fun with it!


One more,
Look in trades and see what postcards you can trade.

firstly, welcome to postcrossing! i hope you’ll enjoy it. secondly, it will probably work better if you keep refreshing your email :grin:

i’ve been doing postcrossing for quite a while so i can request an address anytime (i only send out a few a week though so that is probably why).
but i don’t always feel like writing a card so sometimes i just take out all my stuff and decorate some cards. so i have a few ‘themed’ cards like cat cards with cat washi and stickers or something all disney.
i also check out webshops for new things. i try not to buy too much but i’m curious about new things. and like someone else already mentioned, at the beginning i went through the whole forum. it’s very interesting to see how everyone else keeps their postcards or what stamps they use. tags are fun as well.
you’ll find your way. after a while it’s more sending and less waiting. have fun!


I also came to suggest checking out the many Round Robins here. I’ve done swaps on other sites (reddit, instagram, etc.) but I find that the ones here have a much greater sense of community. Also, I’ve now done multiple swaps with several of the same people across different RR ‘groups’, and it’s kind of become a low-obligation-penpal situation when we get matched again.

I see a lot of great suggestions here!

As others have pointed out, there is so much more to Postcrossing, the Official side. The Forum is great. Since you are in Canada, you might be interested in this Traveling Envelope. It is primarily Unwritten Postcards, but I have added so many interesting cards to my collections.

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This may be either too intense or boring, but it’s one of the things I do to manage the time between “Hurray!” emails:

  • I list the countries (or in the case of US, cities) my cards are traveling to
  • One column has the number of days the card has traveled (I usually put this to the left of the name)
  • I check each of the profiles “received” section to see how long it took the last few cards from the US to arrive (I usually list the last four)

For example:

  • For a card traveling to Germany, I might see 10, 21, 12, 15 days
  • For a card traveling to China, I might see 51, 49, 57, 102 days

I then write these numbers in columns to the right of the country name, updating every few days. Gives me something to do while waiting, and helps me see a rough average of travel time from the US, and how some countries just take longer.


Oooo I like that idea. Postcrossing has the travel time built in already but I like the idea of looking at historically how long it’s taken.

I am new and impatient too! I’ve browsed loads of favourites and jumped from profile to profile to see if there are any general ‘favourites’. Then I bought some postcards online to try and have a good selection in my stash. I went to a few local shops for local ‘scenery’ postcards. I bought some special stamps and I entered a few lotteries.

I have learned so much from other people’s favourites -etagami, vapour wave, blow balls (all new to me)- I find myself googling and going down wikipedia holes reading about new things!


Yeah I have a few boxes I ordered for my Reddit swaps, so I’ve got the space genre covered lol. I have a handful of other assorted ones. Might swing by the dollar store to pick up some Vancouver/BC ones. I ordered some hand drawn Canada postcards too off Etsy!

Maybe make some handmade postcards? That can be a fun project for an afternoon :grinning: and that way you’ll have more options for people who say they like handmade cards on their profile :+1:

And also… browse for some cool washi tape! I love washi tape :heart_eyes:

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I made my firSt handmade (well sticker and washi) cards for tag and it was so fun. I’m obsessed with washi. I just got a bunch of official Sailor Moon washi from Japan lol.

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I think I will fall down those same holes. I don’t know those words /phrases.

Tegami (hand paper) means letter in Japanese al I can guess!

G’day / Yuuma! Welcome to postcrossing!

You could check your preferences so you’re able to send to your own country. (I deliberately ticked overseas only as I send a lot of cards domestic post.)

Do you have permanent/waterproof pens like say pitt artist or copic multiliner or Unipin or Sakura to write the address? Mail to a different hemisphere could mean flooding or saturated mailbag and no address for the post overseas to read. (I write the whole card in waterproof pen but that’s just me.)

Do you have any sites for international phrases bookmarked? I always greet and introduce myself in their language where they’ve a different language to English listed. Yes I realise they want to practice their English but… I want to practice my foreign language skill too. Prevents the panic of “how do I do that for a Finland person” and finding that Suomi is what should be used.

What’s the cheapest way to send your cards overseas? You are jumping into what could be an expensive hobby in just postage and postcard costs alone. (In Australia it’s maxicards, then international specific stamps to make up the 3 zones of overseas postage. Domestic stamps are more expensive again because you have to use more of them- it’s our tax system :expressionless:.)

Write your family some postcards! Even if they’re in your town you may not have seen each other in a month. Or more if you don’t remember the date you last saw them :wink:

By all means swap via the forum but there are some folks out there that won’t send your item in return. That can be very upsetting especially because they may be doing this to other postcrossers. (I didn’t start direct swaps until this past week and only when I saw the people I’m swapping with have been postcrossing and direct swapping successfully a long time.)

Online shop for postcards- warning this will be addictive if it’s local artists or even your local Etsy

Remember that COVID19 has hit post really hard. So what used to take 14 days (the US and UK from Australia pre COVID19) now can be 30 to 60 days… or longer again. Also beware that some post will go missing. I’ve had 3 cards leave here at the same time for the same overseas country received in 14 and 16 days - but the 3rd took over 200 days. I’m glad I wrote the date on it because they didn’t believe it took so long based on the postmark and my date mark. That’d make two of us :joy:

Finally enjoy the process- before you know it you’ll rack up the numbers.

Enjoy post crossing and stay healthy!

Yerrabi / bye!


Thank you for the thoughtful suggestions!

  • Preferences are set to allow cards to my own country, as I read on a thread it’s a good way to get your Sent count up to unlock more cards!

  • Will definitely look into permanent pens, I order a lot of pens from Japan so they’re good quality but I don’t think any are necessarily waterproof.

  • I’m studying Japanese so I’m looking forward to matching with a Japanese postcrosser!

  • In Canada we have permanent stamps for within Canada that never lose value – I have quite a few sets that are from years ago that I no doubt bought when they were cheaper than they are now. :stuck_out_tongue: There’s a going rate for US and a going rate for international so I have stamps for each zone, but in a pinch I’ve used two or three permanent stamps to cover the postage (which is more fun as permanent stamps are the ones with cool designs!)

Thank you again for all the suggestions. I’m prepared to spend a bit of money but I’ve got tons of postcards I already owned to send out and PC will ultimately be a little more manageable due to the slower pace. :smiley:

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I was the same when I joined, my first card to like 40 days to be registered so imagine…
I read the entire forum (ok slight exageration, but I read all that seemed of interest), got a postcard pal or two, did a couple of swaps even if I don’t love swaps but I was bored :slight_smile: I didn’t feel brave enough for tags until about 18 months later, and it took me 4 years to venture into a round robin, I really struggled to understand both. I do very little tags and RR as I prefer officials and penpals/postcard pals. Officials have the surprise element, and regular relationships are fun because you make friends.

I also was happy back then that I was forced to be limited in my sending as I didn’t want to suddenly spend so much money on postage. So I took it as a way to help me stay cheap.