During the global pandemic, many people have become socially isolated from the broader world. If you’re an extrovert, it can feel like a social prison sentence and make you dream of places you want to see in the world, from going on an African safari to simply going to a unique restaurant that isn’t “Pick-Up” only.
Many of us are socializing through blue screens, whether by social media or Zoom, wishing that we could just get out and see our friends and extended family, or just talk to any new person. Even if you have people living with you, the social connection of your “pandemic pod” is no substitute for an entire society, or further, an entire world.
If you’re a parent, the pandemic has left us with concerns that we never imagined we would face while raising a child. Many parents are struggling to find ways to keep their children safe from COVID-19, while also navigating economic uncertainty and running a makeshift school through their home. Some parents have been forced to confront another disheartening reality: You may know something well, but that doesn’t mean you can teach it well.
Pandemic living can make you feel like a failed event planner for a child’s entire lifestyle. It is sad to see your child isolated from their friend. For many of us, parents are taking on the role of parent and childhood friend in their daily activities. (If you didn’t think you needed a princess dress at age forty, you actually do. There is a tea party at your house this afternoon and you’re the only guest.)
We began to think of ways for children to connect with the world, even if they couldn’t physically travel to different places during this time period. Just as many adults long to see new things, so do children. We sought out a fun and affordable way for parents to show their child different cultures, even if they couldn’t get on a plane and visit Italy, France or India.
We are delighted to share our new find: “The Postcrossing Project.” Through a free website called Postcrossing.com, parents can register themselves and/or their child to send and receive postcards from all over the world. The only tools needed are one Forever stamp per card, a box of postcards and an imagination. Postcrossing offers ideas for topics, such as discussing interesting facts about where you live, your culture and even practicing foreign languages.
According to their website, for every postcard sent, you should receive a return postcard from someone else in the world, assigned to write to you through their website. You can send several postcards at once, which increases how many postcards that you receive back from other participants. As for safety, there are community guidelines, which can be located here to view who is allowed to know your return address.
Today, we ordered a few boxes of postcards on Amazon to begin sending our first postcards around the world. There are several postcard designs to choose from, ranging from your home state or country, to specific themed-cards that center around various topics such as Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Literary Quotes and Patterned Postcards from Top Women in Design.
We encourage you to join us in reaching out to people in different communities and cultures to socialize and learn more about different cultures across the globe. The postcards that you receive can be crafted into a scrapbook of places from which you’ve received a handwritten note from a person, much like a passport book.
Years from now, you may look back at your postcard collection and not only remember the difficulty of this time, but your ability to adapt to any challenge with positivity and creative problem-solving skills.
We wish you safe “travels” and please don’t hesitate to tag us on Instagram with some of the postcards that you receive back through The Postcrossing Project. We’d love to hear from you, wherever you are in the world.