After Marichie & Annuc1s' story, a few of you wrote back to us with amazing Postcrossing stories of your own. Today we let Telenn and Amit (who you might remember from his Spotlight interview) take central stage, to tell you the story of how a simple postcard sparked a wonderful transcontinental friendship!
“It was in August 2012 that I got to send my first official postcard to India. The profile I got belonged to Amit (drakrana). It is the sort of profile you hope for every time clicking “get address”: positive, sunny, inviting, kind, lots of innocent wishes - so picking just the perfect card is not that difficult. As we share the same passion for photography, I sent a self-clicked postcard, showing the windmill near where I was living.
Amit registered my card with a wonderful message in which he described how amazing the card was and the words were full of friendly curiosity about another part of the world.
We added each other on Facebook soon thereafter, and that was the start of a great friendship! We started with our photography interests and shifted to all sort of things. Since The Netherlands and India are such different countries culturally and geographically, we had lots to talk about! We swapped a few more cards, skyped, shared photos of local activities, and exchanged views on cultural differences and life stories about family, friends, daily life...
I even gained an interest in India and its culture and I started a collection of not only postcards but also small statuettes, magnets, keychains and other items. By then, even family, friends and colleagues became involved, receiving gifts from the other side of the world.
I experienced quite a rough time the last few months of 2012 (I got a burnout and things only seemed to get worse at the time) and Amit, a doctor by profession, was always there to give life a positive twist, some cheering talk and telling me all will be well and how to cope up with mental stress in such a time. I'm not there yet but I picked up at least a little of that positive attitude and things are heading in the right direction now."
Amit continues this heart touching story by saying:
“The friendship reached its next level when in June 2013 I planned a month long trip to Europe. I had never travelled out of India and was a bit reluctant before, but I was so much interested in Europe and its culture and with knowing Telenn, I had a basic idea that it wouldn't be too difficult for me to acclimatise to a new place. I wanted to see it all by myself and not with a tour agent, I wanted to get a feel of life in Europe and not just be a tourist. Telenn helped me plan this trip - France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy were all part of the itinerary and a small meetup with great Postcrossing friends of mine in Amsterdam was also included."
About the trip, Telenn continues:
“On June 1, Amit and I met for the first time near the majestic Eiffel Tower. We were a bit apprehensive, as online and offline things are so different... but it was actually a very smooth transition! We were instantly good friends in real life too. We both were accompanied by friends who got along great as well, and everybody around us saw the true power of Postcrossing. And so we had a splendid time at Palais de Versailles, Sacré-Couer and Disneyland (Amit’ s childhood dream, where we finally dragged him into the scary gigantic roller-coasters...). The holiday home was soon a place of cards, stamps, pens and address books, sharing the adventures with our friends worldwide, who were in our minds all the time.
"Next stop was The Netherlands. Telenn invited me over at her place and from there we toured the country, trying local specialities like warm stroopwafels at the market... and even India-flavoured ice-cream, why not! We drove around, getting to know the places I had previously seen in Telenn's photographs.
As Bruges is not far away, we wandered around through the beautiful UNESCO city center, visiting Choco Story (Chocolate museum), trying the Belgian chocolates, buying some more cards... and chocolate-tasting stamps of course! I was so interested and amazed to see Indians everywhere and people showing interest in Indian food in every city we went to. We had to try and taste!
We also visited the Dutch fairytale theme park De Efteling and had a nice day in Amsterdam after that, meeting with the beautiful and friendly Sonja and her family from Germany. We had an amazing time together and more cards were written and smiles spread."
"The highlight of the stay in The Netherlands had to be the moment where we walked up the dike in Vlissingen, and the Oranje Molen - the one mill standing closest to the sea in The Netherlands loomed upon us. The mill that started our close friendship in form of a postcard! I saw the child in Amit when he reached there galloping ahead of us pointing to friends who came with him 'Hey that’s THE MILL! That’s THE MILL which managed to pull me to Europe!' Such moments can't be described but lived.
Next stop was Italy! We exchanged the sunny weather in The Netherlands for even sunnier weather in Rome. Amit had asked for help from his good Postcrossing friend Elena who works in the tourism area. She helped us find a great place to stay and even shared some of her "to-do's" in the city. So many friends from Postcrossing were involved in his plans that Amit refers to this trip as 'Euro 2013 hosted by Postcrossing'! :)
We discovered the most known historical places, the Colosseum, Forum Romanum, had a stroll to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and of course the Trevi fountain, where Amit tossed in a coin praying for his next trip! :)
We went to the Vatican, where Amit jokingly said he wanted to meet the Pope and not just see him in the balcony... that true-hearted wish got granted as the Pope was out on a packed Saint Peter's Square for his general audience! Guess who had the broadest smile in those thousands present there...
Rome was like walking in History in our life. Amit absolutely loved it and I was proud of the cultural heritage of Europe.
It was so hard to say good-bye in the end, after two weeks of seeing amazing places, buying and sending lots and lots of postcards, trying Indian food and local specialties, so many photographs and meeting friends and family of both sides and strengthening the special bond we all call friendship. As we get along so well, it was hard to say farewell. But all good times come with a break. We both hope more such fun trips will follow, visiting more common friends!
I am already saving up... I'm heading to India and I am already looking forward to seeing Amit again and meeting other Indian Postcrossing friends."
Amit concludes this journey:
"Postcrossing isn't just a website, it's a beautiful world within this world where a big family lives, meets, smiles, discusses and has lots of fun together... I call It a FREMILY (family of friends)! So have you made your fremily yet? Grab that pen, find that card... rush... it's time to send some happiness to your friends across the world before the mail man collects mail… sending smiles from India and Netherlands... happy Postcrossing!"
What about you? Do you have your own Postcrossing story? Do share, we'd love to hear it!