“Bring me a postcard, will ya?”
This is what I ask everyone once I find out they’re going somewhere. Postcards are perfect souvenirs — they are cheap and exactly what I ask for.
I have been collecting postcards for years. There are two main reasons for this: First of all, I love traveling, seeing other places, distant shores. My Uncle Rafa used to say that the only thing better than the Rocky Mountains near us are the mountains he hasn’t seen yet. And being raised in an arid, land-locked, mountainous region, I love visiting large rivers, great lakes and all oceans. If I am not capable of being somewhere in person, then looking at a postcard brings me a great deal of pleasure.
Second of all, 95 percent of the books I read are mysteries, set in exotic locals around the world. So, for example, when I open up a mystery that is set in San Francisco, and use the postcard from San Francisco as my bookmark, I’m transported to the setting of the book instantly. When my mystery takes place in Ireland, I use postcards from Ireland. When the setting is Spain, I use the one postcard I got from my physical therapist who visited Madrid. My dentist, who is originally from China, went back to visit her family, and brought me back a couple of postcards.
What I do is pick out postcards I really like, and laminate them. This way they last me much longer than the ones not laminated — they don’t tear or bend.
Postcards are usually idealized, most beautiful photos, whether they are of wilderness areas or cosmopolitan centers. I have postcards from Las Vegas, Arizona, New York City, Oregon & Washington states, howling wolves and romantic lighthouses, not to mention Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, Alaska, Missouri, New England, (and old England, aka Great Britain), Israel, California, and, of course, Colorado. Most of the postcards I’ve collected myself, but a great deal came from other people.
Most people are pretty good about getting a nice postcard, although I have received a postcard from Paris once, and it was a photo of a kitten wearing a red beret surrounded by flowers. To be fair, it was from a classmate of my son in middle school, so I should not have expected much from an 11-year-old, but my disappointment was bitter. Even now, 6 years later, I am still not quite over it. Yes, I’m talking about you, Katie.
And it doesn’t matter to me if the card is sent through the mail, or hand-delivered. Getting either is delightful.
So, remember — travel far and wide, and buy postcards, most affordable and perfect gifts ever.