More Than Just A Hobby

“I’ve lived on the island I was born on for 64 years.” ~ Ria in the Netherlands

“Greetings from French Polynesia!” ~ Vanessa in Tahiti

“Hi! I made this post card myself, I hope you like it!” ~ Grace in Taiwan

“I was born, and have always lived in Waltham Abbey.” ~Rachel in the United Kingdom

These are just a few of the greetings I received from perfect strangers all over the world this past month. I am a “postcrosser.” I share little bits of my hometown and myself with other people in other countries on a regular basis. It’s a hobby I was introduced to by Middle Sister Dana about three years ago.

Originally when I started postcrossing, I was in it for the homeschool value. I thought it would be a great little extra to incorporate into our world geography and social studies. For about a year we sent postcards as a family. We received over 300 messages from around the world! We sent about as many too, but as kids often do, mine lost interest. Eventually I let our account go inactive.

After another year, I found that I missed it. I’ve always loved writing letters and receiving mail. Why not do it for myself? So about two months ago I picked it back up, this time solely for my own pleasure.

postcrossing-hobby

As an ambivert I for sure have that side of me that loves to be around people, but often I need a break from them, too. Lately I find I need more retreat time. Even though I really don’t always want to be with folks, I find I still need ways to connect. Postcrossing has lately become one of the middle places between the two extremes for me.

Once or twice a week, I am assigned a stranger, and I share a little piece of me with them from way far away….and then I wait. I wait for a confirmation that my “message” made it to its destination. In return, a couple of times a week, I receive the same kind of exchange with entirely different strangers that were assigned to me. It’s kind of amazing.

These are just small conversations on equally small pieces of paper…a very different kind of “social media.” It’s like twitter via snail mail. Only so many characters fit on a postcard.  A bit about my life…. a snippet about theirs. Something about my culture, and a little about theirs, yet I’m regularly amazed at the overlap in the ordinary places.

They come from….

A mother of three
A person of faith
An artist
A person from a small town
A person who has lost a loved one

Each one tells me just a little about those parts of their life that seem to echo parts of mine.  So many people that in small ways are often just like me.  It’s a small connection. It is a connection that is very short lived, but one that reminds me that I’m finite and keeps me grounded. It’s an act that reaches out and very simply says, “Hey. I want to know you exist.” It’s an unconventional way to spread a little love.

And, if I’m honest,  there is that little part of me, that wants them to know I exist, too.

Do you have a hobby that connects you to others in unusual ways? We’d love to hear about it.

Note: If you’d like to know more about becoming a postcrosser check out their website here to find out more.

Sasha Johns
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Sasha Johns

Sasha Johns is the wife to one amazing chiropractor and mom and teacher to 3 little well adjusted kids. She runs her own little cottage business True Vine Gifts where she repurposes wine corks into beautiful jewelry and home decor. It reminds her daily that Jesus redeems her too.
Sasha Johns
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Latest posts by Sasha Johns (see all)

About Sasha Johns

Sasha Johns is the wife to one amazing chiropractor and mom and teacher to 3 little well adjusted kids. She runs her own little cottage business True Vine Gifts where she repurposes wine corks into beautiful jewelry and home decor. It reminds her daily that Jesus redeems her too.

  • Heather Sanford Banks

    You seriously have an amazing hobby! Everybody loves getting mail. I may have to start doing this!

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      Protip….postcrossers have varied and wide interests. Collect cards to send from every genre you can find. Local interests, art, nature, animals, cartoons! Get a good stash going so you can make it more fun!

  • This is great! What a fantastic idea 🙂 I also am quite intrigued by the idea of an ambivert (a phrase I haven’t heard yet). Must look into it…

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      I’m an ENFP personality and ambivert is one of the common traits. I felt like I finally understood my brand of crazy when I learned about it. I love to be with people and I hate to be with people just as much. It’s a special kind of weirdness. I’m actually planning on blogging about it this month.

  • Amy L. Sullivan

    Okay so this is the first time I’ve heard about a postcrosser. How fun. I love, love letter writing and people. Thanks for sharing, Sasha.

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      It’s an easy peasy hobby that you can pace yourself with. There are so many interesting people and places in the world. It gives you a special perspective.

  • Haralee

    This is new to me and I am intrigued! What a great teaching tool and everyone still likes to get hard mail.

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      When we did it for homeschool, I can’t tell you how many times we’d be studying a country or a tradition and a postcard about it would pop up. It was so much fun.

  • CouponDivaAndi

    i’ve never even tried that!

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      It’s SO much fun! One postcrosser made an account for their cat. We received a postcard (portrait of course) from a cat in Europe somewhere. The kids got a big kick out of that.

  • This is beautiful!

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      It really is in so many ways. Visually the cards give me a special peek at places I never knew existed. The things people share about themselves is always beautiful to me.

  • Ursula Ball

    Love reading all about these global messages! Love your post! 🙂

    Ursula aka Blueridge Beauty

    • Sasha Maples Johns

      Thank you!

  • That is such an awesome idea.

    I think for me, that connection hobby is my blog. It’s opened me up to people from all walks of life, all manners of faiths (or no faith), and so on. It led me to my two best friends, both of whom live in a different country than me.

  • Pingback: Where Do You Come From? | Middle Places()

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