This article is about (almost) everything you want to know about Snail mail & Penpal. I hope this will find useful for your future penpalling.
What is a Snail Mail?
In reference to Wikipedia Snail Mail refers to packages or letters send via conventional postal delivery (e.g.: The Indian Postal Service, The U.S. Postal service) with the implication that it is a lot slower than e-mail. Snail Mail penpals are those who communicate with one another by means of handwritten letters via the postal system rather than on social media.
So what are Penpals?
According to me, Penpals are people who write letters to each other on a continuous basis via postal or e-mail. I said E-mail coz initially I tried that platform, but I prefer handwritten letters more.
My penpal journey started around 2018, and from these 3 years, I have got to know many things while doing so. Having a penpal, who you never met and from another country or in the same country, not only makes you curious about them but you cherish that friendship forever. It’s a beautiful experience and can’t be compared with writing through social media platforms. It always feels good to read the letters from your penpal and sending back responses to their letters. Having a long term penpal means you get to have a beautiful relationship with that person, whom you can write about anything without being judged and get to know them as well. There forms a relation between two people who are miles apart but yet connected through words and emotions.
Then comes the most asked question: Where to find a Penpal?
I would say Instagram is the best option for finding a Penpal. You can search through different hashtags like #penpalsearch, #snailmail, #penpalswanted, etc. And other than hashtags there are many profiles that are dedicated to finding penpals too. When you find your penpal get to know them a little bit before giving your address and other info. Some people like to write the first letter or ask you to write the first one.
Speaking of the letter, it is the most important part of your snail mail journey. Writing your first letter is like making a good impression when you meet a person for the first time.
Things to write in your first letter,
1) Introduce yourself like Name, age, what you do, where you live, your likes and dislikes, etc.
2) Write about something you are passionate about like any hobbies or so.
3) Write about mundane things like how was your day and ask the same about your penpal.
4) You can add a questionnaire section in the letter or make a separate page for that. Ask questions about them that you’re curious to know about.
5) If you’re into music, movies, or books you can add a list of your current favorites.
6) Then comes the part where you add extras, like tea bags, washi tapes, stickers, papers, stamps, old magazine/newspaper cut-outs, unused book pages, bookmarks, pressed flowers & leaves, etc. Even you don’t have these, that’s perfectly okay. Just the letter is enough.
7) Final step is putting the letter into an envelope and seal it securely with cello-tape and label it with your penpal’s address and stamps. The price of stamps varies from country to country and you can find out about this on the India Post website.
Your mail will reach the recipient around 10 to 20 days or more depending on the destination. If it's inside India, it might take 4 to 7 days maximum with a normal post. Remember it’s a slow process. And you wait for the reply.
Here I am adding some Instagram accounts to whom you can reach out for finding penpal, supplies, etc. All of them are based in India except for one. Feel free to connect with new people and get inspired!
Anushka is a UPSC aspirant and economics post-grad student, who also teaches German. I bet you will have a beautiful and outstanding conversation with her.
Anamica is one of the talented girls I know out there on social media. She makes some OG journal date stamps and some beautiful botanical ones.
Bhumika is a medico and loves collecting stamps.
Here's a budget friendly shop for you to get postcards and art prints. Dhevi also does commission works!
If you are looking for swapping collections or enriching your own. head on to THIS place.
Don't tell me you don't like pretty cards or stickers. They are not just beautiful but sometimes postcards share messages to others. like the upcoming collection of Little poppy place who is releasing a series on Indian Classical art forms.
I remember discovering Prajakta in the rabbit hole of the planner community in 2019 and since then the bond just got deeper. She does one of the most vibrant mails out there. She takes so much care in the packaging and every tiny gift she sends is heartwarming. _ ADMIN(Trinanjana)
One of the most aesthetic penpal out there. Based in Dublin, Ireland, Paula regularly hosts "Find your penpal". Keep an eye on her posts and connect with people across the boundaries.
Finally, I absolutely love snail mail and stamp collecting. I also own a tiny shop for stickers, postcards. Nevertheless I am always looking to make new friends.
Reach me out here.
To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere, without moving anything but our heart..
The author of the post is UPSC aspirant who is either studying or writing letters. reach to the author here.