Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

Blog > Postcrossing Spotlight: meiadeleite from Portugal!


This is our 100th Postcrossing spotlight, hurraaay! :) In order to celebrate, I thought I’d hijack the post and interview myself, for a change. That seemed like a good idea at the time, but turns out, these questions are actually hard work to answer, and it’s taken a while to finish it… Anyway, Hi! I am Ana (aka meiadeleite), I come from Portugal and I wear the hat of community manager, here at Postcrossing.

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

There was once this quiet boy who wouldn’t stop nagging me with his idea of “making a website where we could randomly send postcards to other people and they would send postcards to us”… (I mean, weren’t MY postcards enough for him?! *humpf*)

He bugged me to do a logo for this website of his, and then one day, dropped by with a very cute (but ridiculously overpriced) postcard, and told me “Here you go – this will be the first card from Postcrossing! Let’s go register it!”

We tested the website a bit more, sending postcards back and forth between the two of us, and then proceeded to bully all our friends into signing up. Many of them did — we still know all the first members by name. I guess the rest is history!

Looking back, it seems unbelievable now, but that first year, I only sent 20 postcards (Paulo sent 11!). We were poor students…

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

Not sure this qualifies as a hobby, but I’ve been keeping an irregular blog for over 10 years now, about our adventures around the world. Traveling, eating and analogue photography are some of the things I enjoy the most, so the blog features a lot of that.

Also, two years ago, I started filming one second of our days, every single day. It has turned into a way to stay in touch with our friends, but also a way to remember our days as time goes by. I love the result and cherish the short monthly videos immensely.

I’ve also been known for being a compulsory list-maker, and I especially like the 101 things in 1001 days format… though I usually pack so many complex items into my lists, I tend to end up running out of time to finish them!

Truth be told, my problem is that I’m interested in so many things: stationery, how-things-work, cookery, languages, traveling, science, knitting, paper crafts… if only days had more hours in them!

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

Here is my mailbox:

The pillar box tattoo

Ahah! :) Does that count? I don’t have a proper mailbox at the moment due to a frustrating moving situation. All my postcards have been stored in boxes for months now — very sad indeed.

I have, however, just finished this year’s Month of Letters, and have been posting my postcards and letters all over Portugal’s southernmost region:

Mailing postcards Mailing postcards
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

My favorite part is definitely the sending. I try to make the postcards special, and give some use to my ever-growing collection of washi tape, stickers and rubber-stamps… I aim to make every postcard different and special… though most of the time I just ramble about my day.

On my profile, I list a few of my favorite things (à la Sound of Music), and ask the senders to share theirs with me. Some do — it always makes my day to read about other people’s favorite things on the postcards they send me! :)

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I remember one day receiving postcard DE-1 on my mailbox, the first postcard ever sent from Germany and thinking… who is this person?! Do we know them from somewhere? How did they find out about the website?


Since then, a lot of postcards have surprised me! It’s not so much the place they come from though — more about the stories they carry, and the adventurous Google searches they trigger!

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

Yup! I’d like to think I’ve inspired quite a few people to join Postcrossing with all the blabbering I do about it for newspapers, TV, radio stations… or anyone who will listen really!

Mailing postcards in front of a camera

One year ago, I even stepped on a stage and delivered a TEDx talk about the project in front of 700 people… a very scary but rewarding experience. My most recent convert was a post office clerk who was wondering why I needed to buy so many stamps… :)

Have you met any other members in real life?

YES, lots of them, from all over the world! Everywhere we go, we try to either attend or organize a meetup to meet the local postcrossers. I’m always surprised at how postcrossers are the nicest people! And of course… they always know where the best postcards are to be found! :)

Postcrossing meetup in Shanghai
Is there anything that you are passionate about?

There are 2 things always on my mind: Postcrossing… and food! Not necessarily together, unless they’re these delicious cookies our friend C. did some years ago:

Postcrossing cookies

I’ve always liked letters, postcards, stamps and mail art… so when Postcrossing slowly started to taking over my life, it felt almost natural. I love that my days are spent helping hundreds of people worldwide experience that spike of joy when they open their mailbox and discover something there.

Though if you ask my family what I’m passionate about, they’ll shout “EGGS!”… and I’m afraid it’s true. I love food and cooking in general (the whole nose-to-tail), with eggs being a special obsession! :)

Most of all? I love the quiet, geeky boy who wouldn’t stop nagging me about a website where people could exchange postcards…

91 comments so far

Starsister, Germany
Dear Ana,
thank u for investing so much energy, creativity, "Herzblut", time ... in this amazing project. I'd suggest you for the Nobel Peace Prize, as I think this project is so important for connection, understanding, tolerance, good vibrations, friendship, love ... and the world needs it desperately!!!
Aloha to you and all postcrossers! Martina
DorotheeB, Germany
Thanks for this great spotlight - I enjoyed both reading and looking at the photos!
Nordbaer, Germany
as this comment-creating-program does not accept < and 3 together to built a heart, I have to write it:

heart heart heart

carolreader, United States of America
I loved reading this. Thank you!
paulo, Portugal
@Nordbaer: That should be fixed now :)
itsmeraincrystal, Philippines
I've been a member of Postcrossing since the start of this year. I love it! I wish I found out about it earlier! ^_^
MacKittens, Germany
I love you guys!!!
Luziaceleste, Brazil
This is in fact what Postcrossing is: people. Thanks for remember us that much love!
emotis, United States of America
Reading this just made me happy. :) What a great way to start my day!

Thanks for creating such a wonderful community!!
martha66, Netherlands
what a great idea to interview yourself, great for us to know you a bit better. Thanks for all the "good work" you do for all of us crazy and enthousiastic postcrossers.
Protea, Germany
How lovely to read this! Hoping to see you 2 again
honeybee, Austria
Finally we have your interview here, Ana :) I love it and I am so grateful for this wonderful postcrossing idea.
Newdawn, Switzerland
Dear Ana
A big thank you! and all the best!
mar872, Canada
I love hearing about the people who are behind the Postcrossing project. I think this project is so wonderful and linking people from all over who would normally never interact in their lives. I am so happy I stumbled over Postcrossing from all places, Guernsey Post when they issued their stamp and had a short story about Postcrossing. :)

Thanks for all that you and your team does.
minnasusanne, Finland
Thank you Ana and the quiet boy for doing this. <3
( Hope the heart works now! :D )
Bonnieta, Czech Republic
I'm a newbie here with only 11 sent postcard under my belt but it's nice to read a bit about the beginning of this wonderful project. Thank you!
DosRobles, United States of America
<3 Thanks for all you do <3
Broe, Germany
I LOVE your spotlight! It's really great to get to know you a little better and I hope to meet you some day in person :)
Thanks you!
maccharedbean, Malaysia
Enjoy reading this!
graugans, Germany
This project brings so much joy and happiness! Postcrossing creates a special bond between people who in real life wouldn't have found each other. Thank you! <3
TandemStoker, United States of America
a simple wish and a beautiful reality come true!

love, hugs, and thank you to paulo, you, vicki, and your wonderful volunteers :)

♥ shirley
aberline, Australia
Ah how sweet <3 !!! You've answered all those hard questions perfectly!!! You guys have touched half a million people's <3 s over 29 million times!!! Hurray!
tropicalparagon, Trinidad and Tobago
This was quite an enjoyable read especially "weren't MY postcards enough for him?! *humpf*". Thank you for all the work you have put in towards this wonderful project which truly brings people from all over the world together and helps everyone to broaden their horizons.
FairyFoot, United Kingdom
It was a pleasure to receive a Postcrossing postcard from you. Also, it was my pleasure to send a postcard for your TEDx talk. How many postcards did you end up receiving for your talk? Did many people join Postcrossing afterwards?
avanesdonk, Netherlands
What a great interview you did Ana! Thanks for sharing. And I also think you and your 'boy' (that made me smile too; I keep referring to myself as a girl and my husband as a boy, though I think by now I should talk about woman and man; nice to see you do the same thing :) ) should be nominated for the Nobel peace price; great idea! Making the world a nicer place - one postcard at a time. Thanks so much for all the time and effort!
Snuggy, Australia
Que bom conhecer o casal que "inventou" esta ideia maravilhosa.
Tambem fiquei a tomar conhecimento do blog que passo a seguir. Vivo na Australia e tambem tenho um blog, mas em ingles.
Quem sabe um dia tambem fazem uma visita por estas bandas...
dandilion, Netherlands
Ana you are not the only one who loves the quiet geeky boy! :-) guess we all love him a little a lot for creating potcrossing :-)
kroete68, Germany
<3 <3 <3 It is all Paulo's blame ;) thank you both for running postcrossing
mondkind, Germany
<3 <3 <3
thank you for this very nice interview..i am so happy to be part of this wondefull postcrossingfamily <3 <3 <3
Nordbaer, Germany
Muito obrigado, Paulo!
Loli-ts, Spain
I completely agree with Starsister :-) Nice to meet you (again)!
fisherman, Ireland
I am so glad that quiet boy kept nagging you - Muito Obrigado
Chathalie, Canada
Thank you so much for this warmful and generous interview.
Steffilovesmusic, Germany
Ana, our lives would be so much emptier if you hadn't started up Postcrossing! Thanks so much!!!!
chrissybaby, Ireland
Love it - without your boy we would not be this big wonderful family :)
scrutiny, Hong Kong
Hooray! :D
postmuse, United States of America
<3 This is such a fun read! Thank you, Ana, for all you do! <3
ThePOSTCARDPerfect, United States of America
Yay!!!Perfect way to celebrate the 100th spotlight post indeed!!Great "interview" by the way,I had fun reading it :)
nisnoopy3, Malaysia
Hello Ana,

It was great to have you and thank you for making this a lovely place for us all! I like the t-shirt you are wearing. The Japanese illustration is nice! The red fox is cute! :D

Thank you and Paulo! XD XD XD
zomertje, Netherlands
Many thanks for the story, and thanks for making it possible to send postcards all over the world. LOVE IT !!!
leenaj, Finland
Congrats for the 100th Postcrossing spotlight and thank you two for all the work well done! I am probably right to say: All the postcrossers around the world salute you!!! :):):) <3 <3 <3
iphoto, Australia
I will be ever grateful to the "quiet boy" for his nagging! And to you Ana for caring enough to listen!

Postcrossing is something I see myself doing for many years to come ... As long as I can hold a pen and lick the stamps :D hahaha just saying!
Ninocas, Portugal
Obrigada por esta fantástica entrevista :)
Nós aqui em casa adoramos-vos :)
BridgetLarsen, Australia
Great post and thank you to that nagging boy and his tenacity to start this wonderful place of caring and sharing. I think we should all post up a photo of our postboxes
pucky, Netherlands
What a wonderful story Ana! It is so nice to read how it all started, the personal and loving touch in it! Thank you ( both) so much!
kugusch, Germany
The day one joins postcrossing marks the day one gets "happy mail" again. I talk about it all the time and have converted a few people myself.
Thanks for all you guys do, and thanks for the entertaining interview!
Lucy156, United Kingdom
A really lovely interview from a wonderful lady! Thank you Ana and Paulo!!! :D
melilot, France
Brilliant portrait, but is it me or nothing is said about what means Meia de Leite ? :))
Keep the faith in this fantastic hobby.
HM, Netherlands
Good interview! Thanx.
Elisabeth_, Austria
Thank you for this wonderful interview, Ana! You and Paulo should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize indeed! THANK YOU, both of you, for all your work! <3
Ejderha, Netherlands
Ana, thank you for stepping into the Spotlight and sharing your story with us. And thank you for giving me and all of us a wonderful, amazing and fun hobby! (^-^)
(Oh, and I'm jealous of your awesome "Legend of the Fall"-shirt. Love the great Sherlock art)
Robin67, Austria
Sweet and wonderful! <3
moonlessnite, Canada
nice to read about your feelings and thoughts, ANA!
ned44440, Ireland
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing with us. Keep up the excellent work. Postcrossing is the best hobby ever and it is great to belong to such a large and diverse family. Thank you for helping to make that possible.
ConstantGardener, United States of America
The Post Crossing experience has been wonderful! Thank you for bringing it into being! :)
ZenCat, United States of America
Thank you, Ana! I loved reading about your thoughts! And thank you to the "quiet boy" Paulo!
Linus58, Germany
Thank you Ana for this interview and pictures. Little steps make a journey start - so let's keep going on! Hugs from Berlin.
IndigoAngel, Australia
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
one <3 for every wonder-full year of sharing
heartfelt thankyous (yes plural)
YiliLoh, Malaysia
Thanx for sharing the story! I have met many friends from different countries since I have joined Postcrossing! :D Now, some of us even become pen-pals already!
sumares, Puerto Rico
I am super glad that the "quiet, geeky boy" nagged the friendly, outgoing girl and created this wonderful project! You two are the pillars of Postcrossing! The positive energy of Postcrossing and its participants inspires me! Thank you for being you! … and it makes me very happy to have met you and that I can call you "friend" <3
EngelDD, Germany
♥ Inspiring story and a little idea grown so big - thank you two sooooo much! ♥
Knerq, United States of America
Thank you for all you do!
florencen, Australia
thanks to you and the geeky boy ( and all the postcrossers).I tell people its a hobby where I am saving postal workers jobs worldwide one card at a time.
rosenbusch, Germany
Thank you for sharing. Now, I know all about the history of Postcrossing....
Bluminante, Germany
<3 <3 <3 Thank you for postcrossing ! <3 <3 <3
larin73, Germany
I am new here and waiting for my first own Postcard. Thank you for the details of postcrossing history.

It seems a lovely adventure.
sophie54, Netherlands
<3 <3 <3 Great interview and thank you for Postcrossing <3 <3 <3
paicontea, Germany
Irip, Russia
Ana, thanks for sharing!!! All the love and happiness to you both!
wanderingwolfgram, United States of America
What a fantastic story! So glad to hear all of the history behind the project and so glad that you did agree to work on it! Think of all the joy your bring daily because you did!
RalfH, Germany
Take good care of that quiet geeky boy and happy Postcrossing!
fitziane, United States of America
Loved to hear the back story to Postcrossing and to your own journey with it, thanks! (And thanks as well for listening to that quiet geeky boy!)
Diana_Lee, United States of America
I enjoyed reading your story of how PostCrossing came to be.
I share many of those same feelings & even a similar story or two. I always tried to make new pen-pals when my family would travel on vacations. Sadly, they never seemed to last very long though. But this idea is just perfect.. it even has an option to create an on-going "pen-pal" relationship. I really enjoy completely changing my profile from time to time as well. It tends to generate an entirely new & different experience.
Thank you, Ana & thanks to the "boy" who inspired the site.
It's just wonderful. :)
kd7flc, United States of America
I loved hearing about you and Postcrossing. I love connecting in even a small way to people around the world. I started putting stickers on my cards too. One card I sent was only 11 miles away...and we have become good friends. Thank you for your amazing hard work.
ozpom, Australia
Ana what a great story and the stories are what post crossing is to me so I thank you and your man for bringing it to me and my fellow post crossers where we in turn can spread a little sunshine
Poste, United States of America
Thank you Ana!!!

You have created a very joyful place and I am greatly enjoying this project. I love sharing with new folks about Postcrossing and watching reactions of immediate excitement. People can be wonderful, thanks for helping the World be a better place. GOOD WORK!!!
mingshu, Finland
Absolutely wonderful ! Ana and Paulo, you have truly contributed to a better world with this amazing genius project :)
Purple-Hortensia, Belgium
Incredibly inspiring!!! Thanks so much for this postcrossing project. I'm a relative new member, but I'm crazy about it, absolutely love it, quite obsessed :-).
I adored your 101 things list. As I am a little older, I made myself a 50 things to do in 500 days list.
Thanks again for the joy you bring into so many people's lives.
Mawia, Portugal
Oh Ana, Portugal!! Sempre pensei que isto fosse um projeto estrangeiro!! Maravilhoso!! Inscrevi-me há pouco tempo e estou a adorar!! É incrível "conhecer" pessoas de todo o mundo com um simples postal!!
Obrigada por esta ideia genial!! :)
lucymonty, United Kingdom
Great to learn more about you Ana! Thanks for all your hard work with Postcrossing, I love it and I'm certainly not alone ;-) Those cookies look fab!
Felice1959, United States of America
Such a cool story Ana! Thanks for writing it and for all you have done to make this project live. Remember me? I was one of the first spotlights in 2009 :-) I was so excited and honored to write that story and since them I have continued to meet up with other post crossers around the world.

Lots of love from Chicago!
Blogger, United States of America
I truly enjoyed reading this Ana! Thank you for your hijacking. ;-)
I just sent you a postcard from Cuba, I hope you get it.
teamug, Germany
Thank you Ana and Paolo for letting your inspired idea come to life to be enjoyed by many.
Wouldn't want to be without Postcrossing ever again...
Lots of joy for many years to come - to all of us - who make this project bigger and more diverse every day.

Vlbibb0596, United States of America
A friend of mine introduced postcrossing to me and now I have been a member for almost a year, have some pen pals and receive awesome postcards from all over the world! I am trying to get more family and friends involved! Thank you to Ana and Paulo for putting together something amazing!
ipuenktchen, Iran
Dear ana. Thx to you and this quiet guy.. thx to this great day you met each other to get
able to create this gorgeous project to cheer up so many ppl all over the world and nevertheless as a project for PEACE!!!!!
meiadeleite, Portugal
Thank you everyone for your very nice comments! :D
Geminiscp, Portugal
How could I have missed this post! Hello "stranger"! Thank you for all these wonderful years!!! :)
betslets, United States of America
Hi to Ana and Paolo -- I'm joining everyone in expressing the JOY I've found in Postcrossing -- your brilliant creation. Just when I think I couldn't enjoy it more, out comes an Ana-and-Paolo blog. I added the Happy 9th Birthday TED talk to my favorites, so I can access it (and have a happy cry) every once inawhile. And the 100th Postcrossing spotlight will become a favorite, too. You are loved.
Robert-in-Australia, Australia
Hi Ana,
You guys do such a great job, and bring so much creativity to so many lives . Love you, and long live Postcrossing !!

Robert in Australia
nugget, United States of America
A sweet story. Thanks for sharing.
Jcchit, Hong Kong
Thank you for creating Postcrossing. It has brought me so much fun! Thanks for sharing.

Back to top