I started the “Please, Mr. Postman!” blog in late 2014 to highlight my ever-expanding postcard collection and have published 147 articles in less than two years, albeit much less frequently in recent months. I find that my postcard activities seem to increase between the months of July and September; this is due to the onset of the monsoon rains here in Thailand. I don’t spend as much time with my stamp collections during this time because I’ve had some overseas mail orders destroyed by the wet weather while en route. I’m also cooped up inside much more when the rain is coming down in sheets and the wind is howling past my window.
This year is no exception and I’m sending more postcards than ever before. Many of these have been trades done in various Facebook groups. Although I did send a few Postcrossing cards last month, I have yet to receive a single one in 2016! I have also started getting my own postcard designs professionally printed, a few of which have proven to be popular amongst the card traders. If you have any suggestions for new designs, please let me know.
In an effort to catalogue what I already have and what I’d like to receive in the future, I’ve revamped my old spreadsheet list and realized I wanted a “real” website to showcase the cards rather than sticking them into Flickr or Facebook photo albums. For this, I was greatly inspired by Mark Boccolato’s postcards page on his Born2Travel site. I love how each country is represented in alphabetical order — front and back — with just a brief notation of who sent the card or where he and his travelling companion obtained it.
I no longer have the time (or the patience) to try and write HTML code one page at a time (and my entire knowledge is vastly outdated; I created my first website back in 1997), so I looked around at a few site hosts and their online editors. I wanted something very much plug-and-play but, as usual, I’ve added more tweaks of my own in my eventual choice, the really cool WIX .com. I’ve been having a lot of fun designing bits of the page elements and adding my postcards. The WIX editor makes it easy to create sites ranging from very simple to complex. I still have quite a few postcards to upload so it will still be some time until the site goes live. I will make an announcement on this blog when it does.
I agonized over the name. I finally came up with The POSTCARD TRAVELER as it relates back to the fact that I’ve been an armchair traveler — always dreaming of far-off destinations rather than going to many of these places — for most of my life. It was only after my mother passed away that I got out of that living room armchair and replaced it with seats on planes, buses, trains, and tuk-tuks. The real-life traveling eventually led me to Thailand and my current career as a very busy English teacher. Due to my job responsibilities, most of my current traveling is done by learning about the places where my postcards were mailed from. Thus, I am traveling the world through the postcards I receive.
With the upcoming website, I have also decided to tackle a redesign of this blog. The first thing is to change the name. I quite like “Please, Mr. Postman!” as I hear the song playing in my head every time I come here, but I want to create a paired identity for the site and the blog. Just add the word “Blog” to the site name and voilà!
Redesign is a bit more difficult as my current WordPress theme (and others I’ve sampled) don’t include the fonts available in the WIX editor. I’m using a different background image but still with a palm tree theme. (I did try backgrounds with collages of stamps and postcards but this often made it difficult to find a font color that was visible.) As time goes on, I will probably make a few minor tweaks here and there. So, as the t-shirt in Thailand woefully proclaims, it will be “same same but different.”
Hopefully, all of this will inspire me to write more as the content is more important than the design anyway. With my inventory of postcards more organized now, and soon to be displayed fully on the website, I can more easily see what I have that I have yet to write about.
As always, please let me know your opinions and suggestions in the comments. Send me a card if you’d like to see it featured here and on The POSTCARD TRAVELER.