I recently started searching out Penpals online and writing to people, soon to be pen friends, in faraway places. It’s always exciting getting a letter in the mailbox. A real letter written with love and thought. Along the journey I have come across postcrossing and decided to exchange postcards too. These are the steps I used to get started.
Step 1 – Get online to find Penpals Online
With our connected world, finding Penpals online from across the world has never been easier. You could create a profile on penpalworld and search for others after viewing their profile. Or, do as I did, join one of the many Penpal Facebook groups. If you are interested in postcard exchanging, try postcrossing.
Step 2 – Create a profile or short introduction.
You profile or introduction should state your city and country, your age any interests and your penpal preferences, such as age, country or gender.
Step 3 – Reach out
I have posted my introduction on various Facebook groups and waited for anyone interested to contact me and I have commented on other interesting posts with my intro that I’m interested in mailing them.
Step 4 – Share address
Once you have contacted and agreed to be Penpals with someone with similar interests, you need to hand over your postal address. This should be done privately, such as email or an inbox for your own security.
Step 5 – Start writing
Your introductory letter:
While every letter I write is by hand and different, all my introductory letters contain the same information. I write a bit about myself, my upbringing and my interests.
Many pen friends like to decorate their letters with stickers or write on pretty paper. This is the place to leave your creative mark.
Stickers, book-markers, postage stamps, photos, postcards, newspaper clippings and recipes are all fun things to add to your envelope as a gift to your pen friend.
In South Africa I am lucky to have pretty, old-fashioned stamps. If you can use these for postage instead of the printed ones used in many countries now, your pen friend would appreciate.
Step 6 – Patience
The postal service in many countries is slow. You will need to have a lot of patience waiting for your letters to arrive. Be courteous and let the sender know their letter has arrived, when it does and get writing back as soon as possible.
Penpalling dates back to the 1930s and although not as popular anymore due to email and messaging applications, it has been a rewarding hobby, giving me a space to write to others without judgement and the opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures. I look forward to sharing on my blog some fun letters and postcards in the future.