Postcrossing.com: Swap postcards with penpals across the world

 

With the internet taking over communication, it seems that regular postal mail is reserved for bills and ads. The days of penpals and postcards seem quaint now. But what if you want to connect with someone via the mailbox instead of the inbox? Postcrossing.com can help.

Postcrossing.com is a free website that connects users with people around the world interested in swapping postcards. Members register their address and then receive their first address. Mail a postcard to that person, and they register that they received the card. Then your name is added to the list of people to receive postcards. For each postcard you send, you will receive a postcard from someone somewhere around the world. You can send is many or as few as you like, and your only cost is the postcards and stamps, which is about 20 cents per card and 98 cents for each international stamp.

Started in 2005, the site was created by a Portugese citizen interested in swapping cards. As of March 28, 2010, over 4 million postcards have been swapped between over 200 countries. Close to 200,000 members swap postcards from countries as diverse as Taiwan, Albania, China, Iraq, and Nepal. 16% of the users are from the US, 10% from China, 7% from Germany and 6% from Finland. More postcards are mailed from Finland than any other country.

Swapping postcards from around the world is a great way for kids to learn about geography and start thinking about people in other countries. With a map, an atlas, or the internet, each postcard can be a window into another culture. Postcrossing.com brings the world to your mailbox.

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