In mid-2006, I was still settling into my new life as an American expatriate living in southern Thailand. I had a house on the island of Phuket and had recently become engaged. I was still becoming accustomed to Thai culture and the environment (something I’m still doing today!). I had recently discovered a small philatelic museum close to our home and restarted my stamp collection that had laid dormant for several years.
I don’t recall how I heard about Postcrossing. Perhaps I read about it on a blog. But I signed up sometime in late June 2006 and sent my first postcard (TH-69) to Finland on July 1, 2006, where it arrived after travelling 8,428 kilometers in just nine days. I didn’t receive my first card until the end of the month — NL-15416 had been sent from Houten in the Netherlands on July 11th and arrived on July 26th following a journey of 9,469 km.
In 2006, I sent a total of 14 Postcrossing cards and received 20 and then took a break for six years. I’d gotten married by then and started working a job at a large international school on Phuket. I had very little free time for hobbies. But by 2012, I’d gotten divorced and found I needed something to keep me busy in the evenings so I went back to stamps and postcards. I’d lost my old log-in information from Postcrossing so I started a new account; last year, I found the old account and started using that again — closing the newer account in the process.
I’ve never been that prolific of a Postcrossing user — averaging ten or so sent and received cards per year. In fact, I’ve only just requested my first two addresses for 2016! Those cards will travel to Washington State in the U.S.A. and to Kuala Lumpur, just 645 kilometers south on the highway to Malaysia.
In addition to Postcrossing, I do receive the occasional card from relatives and friends and a few from people I’ve met through various online forums or Facebook pages. I also buy cards whenever I travel and from eBay — usually older cards for countries that I collect stamps from or from places that I will never travel to personally such as Antarctica and Pitcairn Island.
In honor of the past ten years (with a break!) of postcarding from Thailand, I have created a map using ZeeMaps showing the location of all of the cards I’ve received. (Click on the image to go to the full interactive version…)