Travel tip #5: Send postcards, lots of them

I love sending postcards and letters and especially rude birthday cards. With less than RM10, I love that you can make someone feel special in such a simple way. There’s really nothing more special than snail mail from the other side of the planet, despite Facebook messages, Whatsapp, emails and the rest of the lot.

I often find that I struggle with words, figuring out what to say to the people I’m sending them to. It is sort of ironic since I write for work and run a travel blog (I’m using the word “run” rather loosely here, you fake it till you make it and all that jazz.) But I love sending them with big fat I love yous and I miss yous written all over them. I might not be eloquent in my letter writing, but I know that my recipients appreciate them anyway.

Letters remind me of the book “Love, Rosie”, the second “adult book” I read as a teenager. I remember being thrilled and puzzled at the same time as I started on the first few pages where Rosie and her best friend exchange notes as 5 year-olds.

I spent the weekend at St George’s Market and found some seriously funny cards with really well-designed visuals. I couldn’t resist getting them for the people they reminded me of.

Picking out cards seem a lot easier to me than picking out presents, which is probably true for everyone and not an enlightened observation about myself like I seem to make it out to be. Nevertheless, I always keep an eye out for beautiful cards for my mother, funny ones for my father, rude ones for my friends and artsy ones for my sister. I like to think that they frame the precious postcards from their beloved daughter/friend/sister and have only eternal gratitude for me. HAH.

I found these for cheap and have been sending fancy envelopes home.

Yesterday afternoon, I mailed off six items and my biggest challenge was getting everyone’s address without them finding out.

Note to self: Get everyone’s address beforehand, and then save it somewhere you won’t forget.

Growing up, the Kow family had an endless stream of cards. As children, Sash and I made cards for practically every occasion and the adults who received them would put on their best This is incredible! expression. We couldn’t draw for the life of us but we could cut-up pictures and coloured paper pretty well, stick them onto more paper, colour in the white spaces, sprinkle some glitter, glue on some buttons or pencil shavings or coloured pasta, and misspell a name. It was fun and we were proud of our creations.

Cards were also supplied by my father on every occasion. He never misses a birthday or anniversary or Christmas or Valentines Day. This time last year, he bought my mother, my sister and I flowers and a card each. He also gives my mother a card on every occasion, regardless of how bad they might have fought the night before. He’s never missed a card.

I remember asking him once why he bothered since my mother never reciprocated. He simply responded with “it’s what I do for her”. It’s like a secret language they have. He says I love you again and again on different Hallmark cards and my mother keeps them on her dresser for the year as though to say Me too.

There are also other types of cards like I’m sorryGet well soonCONGRATULATIONS, IT’S A BOY!, You’re 100!, YAY! You’re unemployed! and we really do have Hallmark to thank for that. There really is something for everyone for every occasion.

Cards give you a head start on what you need to say to the person who needs to read it.

So why not send someone a postcard today?