Get connected with people on the other side of the earth

It was summer 2015—just a month after I graduated from high school— when I started collecting postcards. I still remember buying my first postcard when I went to Museum Kata Andrea Hirata, a literature museum in Belitung, Indonesia. The postcard cost $ 1.00, including postage.
I used to be an amateur philatelist – read: stamp collector – but I gave it up because good stamps are hard to find, and it was draining my wallet. After buying my first postcard, I told myself, “Hey, this would be a cool hobby; it costs less than stamp collecting.”
After 2 months of living in the US, my collection reached 15 postcards. I was about to buy the 16 postcard when my sister asked me a question:
“Why are you wasting money on postcards? It’s not even the collectible, vintage ones. What are you going to do with these things?”
I was speechless. She was right. The postcards I bought were new, not the old, rare ones. I had to do something with them so they wouldn’t be a waste of money like my sister said.
Eureka! I discovered the answer when I read a post on my Facebook feed. It talked about a website called Postcrossing, where you could send a postcard to a random person living in another part of the world and vice versa. This idea was interesting and new for me; back when I was in Indonesia, I barely went to the post office.
Let me tell you something: nowadays, Indonesians don’t even go to post office anymore. They choose to send text messages or emails if they want to talk to someone far away. Packages? Just send it through FedEx, why do we even bother to line up at the post offices, anyway? Post offices are still standing because yeah, there are philatelists who still hunt for limited edition postage.
I decided to give it a try, so I joined Postcrossing. The first person I sent a postcard to was Antje, a 42-year-old lady from Germany. The struggle was real, because I couldn’t decide what to write on it. I ended up with three sentences:
“Hi Antje, I’m Adelia. I’m an Indonesian student, studying in the USA. I hope you like my postcard.”
These three sentences sounded awkward, but on the next postcards I sent, I wrote more: I started to write about my hobbies, favorite foods, and favorite places in Seattle.
I realized that writing postcards benefitted me. It helped me understand how to start a conversation, exchange knowledge with strangers, and decide what to tell and what not to tell other people.
Now, I’ve sent 5 postcards and received 4 postcards. When I read the postcards sent to me, I feel like I’m traveling to other parts of the world, for the cost of postage!
To the man who posted about Postcrossing on Facebook, I thank you a lot.

_Adelia Sindunata

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