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Practice the art of snail mail with your very own pen pal

Remember the good ol’ days when letters were handwritten, friendships were forged through the postal service, and opening the mailbox was a total thrill? Well, the art of letter writing is making a comeback, thanks, ironically, to help from the Internet, where mail enthusiasts across the globe are connecting to share their love of postcards, care packages, and everything in between. Joining the snail mail community is super easy and fun—here’s how to be a (pen) pal!

Start Small Create a free account on postcrossing.com, which connects postcard senders around the world. Once your first sent postcard is received, you’re eligible to get one from someone else on the site. If sharing your address with a stranger seems iffy, start instead with a far-away friend or family member.

Join a Club The Postal Society is a community for snail mail newbies and veterans alike, where you can share tips for making letters extra special, talk snail mail ideas with like-minded individuals, and even find a pen pal of your own. Do you like your old-school correspondence with a side of nerd? The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club (geekgirlpenpals.com) will pair you with a fellow letter writer based on your top five “geek loves.”

Think Inside the Box Feeling confident? Try a parcel swap! Fab, the illustrator behind the blog Snail Mail Love, hosts an annual Secret Penpal Scavenger Hunt—participants find items on a list and send them to their secret pen pal by a designated date. The International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club organizes six themed swaps a year
(like Valentines and Halloween). Or set up your own, connecting all your far-flung friends! Swaps can be one-offs or ongoing, revolve around certain themes (Golden Girls box, anyone?), or simply be a way for others to experience your little corner
of the world.

– Chelsea Carter 

 

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