Tim Foolery

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The Art of Letter Writing

I do not write postcards when traveling. I tried for a while. Mostly to my parents and equally often to myself – to start a collection, perhaps I planned on putting them in a book or framing them.  I don’t know what my end-game was, but I do know that I sent myself a handful of postcards and have no clue where they are now.

I don’t write post cards, but I do write a handful of letters while traveling.  When staying in a nice hotel, with nice branded stationary, I’ll often write a double sided letter to a couple of friends who are also old souls like me – people who appreciate the written word and the uniqueness of the stationary.

In these letters I will talk about the hotel mostly, the travels a bit but more often than not, I include a little travel quirk that I’ve come across.  These letters don’t tell the full tale of my travels, but a free flowing stream of consciousness from the moment in time – the moment in which I am writing.

I’ve written letters from such hotels as the St. Regis in Bangkok, The Le Meridien Mexico City, the King Alfonso XIII in Seville, the Prince de Galles in Paris.  I know people who send dozens of postcards – to family, friends, co-workers, exes, friends of friends, acquaintances, etc.  For me, I feel I get more bang for my buck with a handwritten letter from a fun hotel to a select few people.  To be honest, once I write the initial letter, the rest follow pretty close to it – mostly the same details.  I may add more focus on food vs. wine vs. hotel, vs. craziness depending on the recipient.

I know I am excited to open my mailbox and see a letter from a friend from a far off place. What about you?  Do you prefer to write postcards? Letters? Or just update your status on Facebook or Twitter?  I think the art of letter writing is dying and I intend to keep it up at least while on my travels.  What about you?

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