Wish You Were Here…

How do you keep in touch with loved ones when traveling?

Perhaps by sending a short-and-sweet text message or posting to their Facebook. Both would be a very “nowadays generation” thing to do. But what about the original Tweet? Those old-fashioned postcards we see from time to time. They seem to be steadily fading out of the very pictures they boast on their backsides, along with hand-written letters and colored stationary.

A few places still sell them in Hawaii, though, like ABC stores and other specialty shops. However, they sit in the corner of most and fulfill a purpose that’s closer to wallpaper and often overshadowed by those cool souvenirs on the shelf next door. Sad but true reality for the waning life of a postcard.

I’m probably one of very few tourists who enjoy sending and receiving postcards. Whenever we travel, I look for the quirky yet scenic postcards to send to friends back home. A postcard from OZ just isn’t complete without a silly little koala nor is a postcard from New York. Lady Liberty is quite the catch. Most times, though, I’ll end up buying two of each if I want to keep it for my personal album. You can never have too many postcards.

There’s just something special about sending a postcard. The scribble-scrabble that’s your penmanship, as you rush to make the morning’s 10 a.m. pick-up; the faint scent of a far-off place. Ahh, and the memories. All those memories squeezed onto just a 5-by-7 piece of card-stock paper. How great it is to be thousands of miles from home but still feel as if you’re having a casual convo with a mate over coffee and cake.

What is it about postcards that keeps them from completely slipping into the black hole of old-fashions and obsoletes? Perhaps they serve as subtle reminders that we need to take a step back from technology and all those “smart” gadgets to truly appreciate the travels and experiences picked up along the way. To me, they’re the only momentums sent over oceans and continents that actually live up to the “Wish Your Were Here” phrase from abroad. Postcards string together memories that will truly keep me connected, as they’re travel tokens meant to last a lifetime.

Photo Credit: Bruce Fisher