Why I Don’t Send Postcards and Do Something Better

Happy Mail by Natalie Parker

I rarely send postcards while traveling.  Not never, but rarely.  My niece and nephew better be feeling pretty special right about now because they got one of the two we sent on our 38-day trip.

Why I Don’t Send Postcards

Postcards are easy to find.  Stamps aren’t as easy.  Some places will sell international postcard stamps along with the cards themselves, but it’s sometimes a ripoff.  Once I tried to mail a stack of postcards from the Louvre on our first ever trip abroad and it was actually cheaper and faster to mail them inside an envelope (although it looked kind of dumb).

If I have postcards and stamps, I have to make sure I have the time to write something and it’s usually super quick.  Finally, I have to find some place to mail them.  Mail boxes aren’t as ubiquitous as you’d think in every country.  Sure, I can hand them to the front desk at a hotel, but I’m not always staying in a hotel.

What I Do Instead

Earlier I talked about why and how I buy gifts on trips.  Half the fun is giving the gift to the person when I get home.  Sometimes I give it in person but most of the time I mail it.  Enter the Weasley mail.

I love packaging things up, picking a cute card from my stationary stash, then going through my vintage stamps and adding up enough to mail the package.

Does this take longer?  Yep.  It’s an involved process to weigh, write, wrap, address, and stamp everything.  But I love sending mail and I love taking my time with each step.

I think this is so much more awesome than sending postcards.

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London: Card Shopping at Selfridges

Selfridges Paper Shopping by Natalie Parker

I’ve been meaning to visit Selfridges for a while.  After an afternoon walk around Marylebone (more in another post), I was so close that I thought I’d pop in.

Wow.  If Harrod’s is fancy, Selfridges is just cool.  It’s still a massive department store, true, but the feel was totally different.  I could have wandered all day!

Selfridges Paper Shopping by Natalie Parker

thought I was just going to pop in and check out the food hall.  Then I went through the food hall to the chocolate section.  Then beyond the chocolate section was . . . wait for it . . . the stationary section.  Be still my heart.

Selfridges Paper Shopping by Natalie Parker

Seriously, this is where British department stores get it right.  A whole section dedicated to stationary plus several stores-within-a-store displays from prominent companies like Paperchase and Smythson.

I about keeled over when I saw the Smythson stuff, then came to my senses when I saw the price tags.  Birthday gift for me, anyone?  I’ll take anything in yellow, especially this.

Selfridges Paper Shopping by Natalie Parker

They had fabulous card and stationary sets.  I saw a map-themed letter writing set and really had to restrain myself.

The card selection was just excellent.  I had to actually put a couple back because I was close to buying all the cards.  I was happy though – I got a cute little yellow Selfridges bag of my very own to carry back to my flat.

Selfridges Paper Shopping by Natalie Parker

Mission accomplished.

If you go, I think the perfect experience would be to sample some chocolate, buy some stationary, then get a manicure (in the same section as the stationary, £19 for an express manicure).  You can’t go wrong!

IF YOU GO

Click here for a map of all the locations I visited (peach pins are stores).

I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip.  I kept myself entertained on the weekends with a few adventures that I’m sharing here.  Click here to see all of my travel posts grouped by destination.

Life’s Too Short for Ugly Stamps

Pretty StampsI love getting mail.

I thought this would wear off once I reached adulthood, but nope!  Even with junk mail, there’s a split second delight of getting mail before I get unnaturally pissed off that another company has sold my contact information.  I digress.

I love sending mail and I love sending pretty mail even more.

Nowadays, it’s so easy to get stamps from the grocery store, Costco or even the ATM!  I’m not saying the standard issue Liberty Bell stamps are ugly, they’re just kinda boring.  Going to the post office and looking at new stamps is a lost art.  I decided to check out stamps on USPS.gov.

I found lots of fun stuff!

I got Year of the Dragon stamps simply because they look so awesome.  I found these Cherry Blossoms and thought they were pretty.  Finally, I had to get the Pixar Send a Hello and Mail a Smile stamps because, let’s face it, the Pixar characters are awesome.

What’s even more awesome?  They’re all forever stamps, meaning they’re good for as long as I want to use them.