I was sipping coffee in a café with a friend, when the conversation turned to the subject of technology and the fall of traditional communication. Whilst I’m not about to begin attacking the online sphere – I run a blog, after all – I certainly mourn the death of things such as old-fashioned mail. That’s when it came to me – why not use the Ginger Passports as a platform to connect followers from across the world, and rekindle the art of letter-writing?
I don’t know a single person who dislikes the idea of having a pen pal. The thought of finding an envelope addressed to you in your mail box is akin to waking up on Christmas morning as a little kid and knowing that there will be presents waiting under the tree. And so, combining the travel aspect of the Ginger Passports with the joy of having a pen pal, I present to you the Ginger Stamps.
You could send a postcard from a local market, or get inventive and paint a picture. Read a book recently that you thoroughly enjoyed? Why not you send it to your pen pal to spark a discussion? When writing letters, you might be able to teach them a few words in your native language. If your country is famous for a type of food, you could even send them a sample to get a literal taste of your culture. Alternatively, write down a local recipe for them to try their hand at some of your national cuisine. The point is to send things unique to where you’re from that illustrate who you are, and that your pen pal will be able to treasure for years to come.
Once you’ve signed up (see below), you will be matched with a fellow reader from a different country and culture (and yes, you can opt to be paired with more than one person). Once you have introduced yourselves over email, you can decide to exchange postal addresses and begin writing to one another. First and foremost, the Ginger Stamps is all about learning about different countries and cultures. It is educational rather than personal. However, if you and your pen pal are both comfortable doing so, you are more than welcome to exchange personal information. Just don’t forget to be respectful and kind at all times. If you have any concerns at all, email me and I will make your worries my top priority.
1. Copy and paste the template below into a blank email
2. Fill in your details
3. Send to email@example.com
It’s as easy as that! Three simple steps is all it takes to sign up to this project, and before you know it, you will be popping down to your post shop with your first envelope in hand. Below is the template for you to copy and paste:
The Ginger Stamps Sign Up
(This will be the name your pen pal knows you by; you are welcome to remain anonymous and choose any name if you would prefer.)
(This will be given to your pen pal so that you can introduce yourselves and organise who will write first. This is also where you can decide whether you are comfortable exchanging postal addresses.)
Preferred Gender to Correspond With:
(For example, if you are a female who would like to communicate with another female, please indicate.)
Preferred Language to Correspond In:
(This can be either where you are originally from, or where you are currently living.)
Number of Pen Pals:
(You can have as many or as little pen pals as you would like. If you opt for more than one, I will ensure you are paired with people from different countries. However, please do not over commit yourself; it’s only enjoyable if everyone is putting in the same amount of effort.)
I look forward to hearing from you! Let the writing begin 👊
All photographs courtesy of Unsplash