Send Yourself a Postcard

"Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way."

- Water Hagen

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Do you send postcards?

How about sending yourself a postcard?

With Instagram, Facebook, and free Internet access basically everywhere, postcards may seem outdated, old-fashioned even.

But the magical details of travel all but disappear in the months (and years) after a trip.

Keeping a journal works well, but when you're on the go, it can be hard to maintain.

And even harder to dig through years later.

Sending a postcard home is a tradition my husband and I started in Paris in 2005. The last morning of our trip, we sat at café terrace - sipping espressos, eat flaky croissants, and recounting our journey. I jotted a few lines, highlighting our favorite details of the trip.

I bought a stamp at a tabac and slipped the postcard in the mail.

A few days upon our return, I opened the mail to find the Eiffel Tower staring back at me and smiled, reliving the experiences we had on the banks of the Seine and Riviera.

I tucked it away in a momento box, and have since added many more.

It's a such simple way to capture offbeat, fleeting moments. And it's the small, inconsequential, unplanned aspects of travel that inspire me to travel again, and again.

Here are some prompts:

  • What was a quirky experience (snafu)?

Remember when we blew out the electricity in a wing of an ancient castle by simultaneously plugging in our iPhones?

  • What was a funny quote?

"We have fire eaters here. Top that!"

  • Was there a common theme/conversation that popped up throughout the trip?

Lovers at the Buddha Bar in Paris, on a topless beach in Saint-Tropez, at a Jamiroquai concert in at the Nîmes Coliseum.

It's in the details. You can deny their decay, but details fade. A postcard to your future self keeps the memories alive in accessible soundbites.

What do you think? Do you do it? Would you ...?

Ciao for now.

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