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Blog > Poll results: Your letter penpals

When we’re talking to other postcrossers at meetings, we often hear about their long term penpals, and how some people have kept up a steady correspondence back and forth for years. So it got us curious… how many postcrossers had or still have penpals? And if they never tried it, how many would be interested in giving penpaling a go in the future?

To find out, we ran a poll on the front page last week, and collected 8351 votes. These are the results:

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As our own suspicions hinted, postcrossers are naturally fans of letter writing, with most people either having one at the moment (32%), or having had one in the past (33%). A further 24% of the respondents had never tried, but are eager to give it a go someday, and only 11% of participants stated that they were not interested.

The breakdown of the results by country can be seen below, but please take these numbers with a grain of salt. The average age range of postcrossers varies wildly in places, with Asian countries typically being home to much younger postcrossers, while things are more evenly distributed in the Western hemisphere. Naturally, this has an indirect impact in the results, as younger people might not have had the time to try penpaling yet. That said, here they are:

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It’s always tricky to make conclusions from these kind of informal studies, but Japan seems to be the reigning champion of penpals at the moment, with over 50% of postcrossers still keeping in touch with theirs, and only 19% having given up over time.

Finland stands out as well — can you spot it on the graph? Over 97% of postcrossers have either tried, still have or are interested in penpaling. This does not come as a surprise, knowing their top spot on Postcrossing’s per capita ranking!

Which countries have more people looking for penpals for the first time, you ask? That would be China, India, Taiwan and Ukraine, all of which have over 40% participants in that category. (By the way, if that’s you, did you know that there’s a section in the Postcrossing forum dedicated to finding penpals?)

And Portugal, the birth country of Postcrossing, appears to be the one where people are least interested in penpals at all… Both Paulo and I have had penpals before, so I confess this is a somewhat surprising result for us. 😅 Perhaps other Portuguese postcrossers want to chime in on the topic?

In any case, how did your own country fare? Are the results more or less in line with your experience and expectations? Let’s discuss it on the comments below!

PS – As usual, only countries with more than 50 votes are included, so that the results can be more meaningful.

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75 comments so far

Krazy4Krsna, United States of America
I thought the percentages were quite accurate for USA.
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Sfander, Canada
For Canada's response, I was curious about the 'Had a penpal, but not anymore' category. Here in Canada, many schools use a penpal program in their English courses and are encouraged to get a penpal to participate. I'm sure this effected that response for that category.

Otherwise, I found the results interesting and I was not surprised. Great fun reading all the other results.
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GoldSky, Portugal
The irony xD
I didn't vote, though, because I just got my first (and only) penpal and wasn't sure what was I supposed to answer.
But I'm still suprised with this resaults.. I wasn't expecting that Portugal would be the country with more people that doesn't want a penpal.
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Ksyusha_M, Ireland
Always wanted a penpal and am still looking for one from Japan :)
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tomphila, United States of America
Excited to get pen pals especially Asia as I travel there frequently I have several pals that I write to and all from postcrossing but still room for more
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Tranchile, Guernsey
Guernsey did not get a mention as not many participate here in Postcrossing. We all had penfriends as children arranged by our schools as they thought being on an Island was isolating and we would get to know more about the UK (We are not UK) by writing to a school child there. I have a very dear UK friend now but not the one from school.
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Olga-Phobus, Russia
Honestly, I thought that the number of Russians would be more. Russian people are a very open nation. Perhaps the propaganda affected the results of the survey. I know people who have found friends in life and even found their love. I have an experience of friendship by correspondence. But most contacts end after two or three letters. I have regular correspondence, and I am very pleased with this.
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manelinha, Portugal
Hi everybody, :)

Well, I voted but I have to confess that I clicked "no", because I have never got any penpal. But when I clicked I realised there were another option "no, but I would like to have one". And the site didn't let me go back ... So my vote got wrongly.

Of course I would like to have a penpal !!

Are you going to bring us news related with that ? :)

Best wishes,
Manuela.
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silverrose, United States of America
Yes, and I still do. I recieved one card from a member who had a liot in common with me. We have been writing eeachother ever since!
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Alemnk, Italy
I have penpals in China, Germany, Turkey, Russia and Spain and I had some in the UK and Taiwan. I got started with penpalling when I was 9, I used to write to my cousine in Verona and to my best friend in Bergamo. Funny, now every year I meet them ^.^
If anyone from the UK/Ireland or any other anglophone country would enjoy having a penpal in Italy here I am! 😊😊
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Edmonds, United States of America
When I was about eleven (way before Postcrossing was born) I had a penpal from Germany and then lost touch. At age 12 my Girl Scout troop traded names with a Girl Guide group from England and Ann and I have been pen pals ever since though not quite as often as before since the internet came on the scene. That's 60 years of correspondence!

Now with Postcrossing I'm content to mail and receive postcards. It looks from the poll that the US is pretty average in the categories.

I'm thoroughly in love with this hobby!!
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CorgiGirl, United States of America
I didn't see the poll so I didn't vote. I have penpals and have found one through Postcrossing.
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Daphnegirl, Canada
I thought we couldn't and was thinking of leaving postcrossing because that is the part I like least about it. If others have made penfriends, how did you go about it?
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Ramya, United States of America
I find that penpals last awhile then eventually they stop answering my last letter. I’ve had penpals in several countries and many in my own. Currently two are very active still. One is in my country and the other in Germany. I think adding extras (photos, ephemera, tea bags, etc.) creates a personal feel. And I think writing from the heart makes a difference. I hope my current pen pals last forever!
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Morrigan976, Mexico
I'm active with just a few penpals...
but i wish i could have more from ...
its hard ...letters from mexico to other countries take long lont time
but its amazing anyways
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honeybee, Austria
I have been writing to my four penpals from Scotoland, England, Wales and Malaysia for more than 40 years and I already had the chance to meet everyone of them. I did not see the poll, so I did not vote.
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Elin_me, Russia
My penpal's way started here. My first penpals was found here) sometimes Russian post lost a correspondence but I still writing long letters and have some good friends!
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fiddlesticks, Germany
I admit I don't usually check the Postcrossing frontpage - was this poll announced anywhere else?

Interesting results, too, it's fascinating to see how the various countries differ. How many different countries had replies at all in the end?
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smile-and-wave, Netherlands
I am more interested in a smiling photo
of all beautiful people world wide.
A laugh says more than 1000 words.
And to see all those people worldwide with a beautiful smile,
that makes me happy
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emotis, United States of America
I have found several penpals here on Postcrossing and have been writing them many years. I've even met some of them in person! One of my very best friends started as a penpal. Our families are now friends and we visit each other at least once a year. She traveled here from Belgium for a month this summer.. and our tickets are already purchased to see her in February. Pen friendships are such a gift!!
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Carlissa904, United States of America
I didn't see the penpal poll, but I have had penpals in the past, but they never seemed to last more that a few exchanged letters. I would like to try it again, so if anyone is interested, I'd like to try it again.
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AnnitaV, Spain
I had a lot of penpals years ago, and we exchanged FBs. Do you remember the friendship books?
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Inger71, Norway
I miss Norway on the list... 😢 I guess not enough persons did vote..
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Kazbug, Australia
I have a few pen pals through the Post crossing sites & love it. Before post crossing became fashionable when I was only a child, I had a pen pal in Korea & he sent me a Korean doll. I don't remember what became of her as we had many moves when I was a child. She was beautiful though & now I wish I still had her. I met an elderly American lady on a bus tour of New Zealand & used to correspond with her until she sadly passed. I now have a good few post crossing pen pals who I treasure. I'm seeing the world through my postcards you see. I armchair travel. My partner loves the cards & stamps as well.
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Leslyn, United States of America
I have a number of pen pals and have been writing to them for years. I met a few of them here on Postcrossing as well and thoroughly enjoy our friendships.

I was lucky to finally meet two of them earlier this year and loved it!

Postcrossing and pen palling are my favorite hobbies.

Unfortunately, I'm quite behind on my letters and am looking forward to getting caught up with my friends soon.
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Cardexplorer, United States of America
I have just a few pen pals both domestic and international. These have grown into friends with which to share life experiences. We laugh, cry, vent and more. Just a fun way to extend my friendship circle. I hope to meet some of them one day. I do both postcard pen pals and letters.
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borealis, Norway
I wonder about those 10% who never tried and don't want to. Is it possible to break down by gender, because I immediately thought that group must be mostly men...!
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Knerq, United States of America
I used to have a couple of penpals when I was in grade school and then fell out of touch with them over the years. In 2013, someone on Instagram saw that I wrote letters for More Love Letters and asked if I wanted to be pen pals. Turns out she was also on Postcrossing. Now I have several pen pals! :)
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ALFAVIT, Russia
Even in Soviet times, I corresponded with pioneers from other socialist countries of Czechoslovakia, the GDR. Addresses were printed in the newspaper Pionerskaya Pravda. But then, in time, all this was forgotten.
Again to the correspondence, I applied already to the Postcrossing project. And now I have regular friends by correspondence from the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Greece. I do not consider one-time exchanges. I hope that we will remain friends and do not stop the correspondence.
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RickyLaw, China
It is difficult to find a pen pal these days, since most people are appealed by their phones. ^+^
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jaiirawr, Canada
I used to have some pen pals that I found through Postcrossing.com. But, as I moved and the time between replying letters increased, I lost some. I found a few pen pals through other sites and I try to keep the time between replying at a reasonable amount that way we don't lose touch. I wish to have more when I become less busy though.
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Wonderwoman12, Taiwan
Excially I love pen palling more than Postcrossing .
I’m still finding pen pals . I have pen pals from France , Italy , America , Belgium , Germany , Russia , and Netherlands .
It’s fun to have pen pals 😀
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dictaudrey, Indonesia
I used to have some penpals but my letters were either lost or my penpals didn't reply anymore... the reason I'm not looking for new penpals is because I'm working now, barely got time to prepare meaningful letters. I might disappoint my penpals if I send something so-so.
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AnnaHimenko, Georgia
I am really excited about the penpal idea because I was used to exchange letters with my friends when I was teenager. Except exchanging letters with one of my friends, we also sent pocket calendars to each other.
And now, I'd like to find new friends for the penpal, especially from Asia. So, please, don't hesitate to write me!
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mounten, Italy
I had pen pals when I was about 12 years old lost contact over the years. Now with Postcrossing I've started again. I have pen pals spread all over the world. A special pen pal from The Netherlands we write short storys to each other and it is great fun every card has a new fantasy story.
I love pen palling not only postcards also little gifts like Tickets, Coins, Pocket calander but also for Birthday events special stamp editions puzzle or toys for the kids Teabags Sweets ecc.
Ciao
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MurzelMagMail, Germany
I used to have penpals when I was younger and the internet and cell phones weren't an option. And I liked it.
Somehow there seemed to be an expectation for this to happen as well, as I got 20+ sets of heavily scented stationary with cheesy pictures of animals and flowers for my Holy Communion. (I was 8 back then.)

Actually having pen pals started at around 12 years old. I gained friends at a choir convention that lived about 50 kilometers away, so it was an effort to go visit and I wasn't allowed to travel on my own. So writing was a good option. But I bought new DinA4 eco friendly paper and gave the "ugly" stationary to my younger sister who seemed to like it.

Two of them have gone on to become really close friends.
But we went on to live in the same city. So we saw each other more, so the letters stopped and we called and met up.
One of them went on to become a sister in one of the more modern catholic communities. She lives with her sisters and the spare room is usually full with sisters from africa or india visiting. The phone instantly stopped being such a good option.
Just think about it, it's a phone in the hallway in a house with 12 room mates. So writing a letter gained new attractiveness.

I'm 41 now. Besides occasional letters from my longtime friends/ pen pals, I get ones from the new ones I gained.
I got in contact with one, because she got my adress via Postcrossing. She lives in Canada and is severely cronically ill, like me.
And one, whose adress I got from Postcrossing. She lives pretty much a kilometer besides a house I spent a week in, vacationing in middle school. It's a Dolomites valley, Italy. (They speak german there, so it was a favorite school vacation spot.

I totally fell in love with the mountains, even though I came home with painfully inflamed tendons, as my parents had though it was a waste of money to invest in a pair of hiking shoes for some child that keeps growing and growing. I went in my regular sneakers.
Not a good idea at all!

I hadn't thought about this trip until I recognized the name of the valley. It happened fairly recently, so we swapped some postcards, letters and I got pictures of my beloved mountains. I consider her a penpal already.

I love Postcrossing. But as I felt, when I started, collectors still ennerve me and I love real human interaction. So just "Greeting from XY" scribbled across a postcard won't do the trick for me.
Don't get me wrong, about 1/3 of those I get, are meaningful and enrich my life tremendously, otherwise I wouldn't be a Postcrosser.

I gained two mailpals as well from Postcrossing.
And the conversation about postcrossing led me to a chronics pen pal mailing list group on Facebook.

So in a way, most of it is all your fault. I spend more of my money on stamps than in the years before I joined Postcrossing. But my mailbox is full on most days. So much so, that my husband shows signs of envy.
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alison41, South Africa
When I was in my late 20s and up to my 50s, I had many penpals. But gradually the Internet took over. So Postcrossing for me was a wonderful discovery - contact with people worldwide, without the expense and time required to write long letters. I've enjoyed reading the comments above.
South Africa didn't feature in the poll, but then we have few members, so no surprises there.
I am still in contact with my penpal in Australia. We have been penpalling for over 35 years, and when I visited Australia, I met her - she hosted me for a week and we had a wonderful time together.
Viva communication!
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rjmom, United States of America
When I was a teen, my father brought home a radio that also had shortwave. I started listening to stations from all over the world - which really opened the world up to me. I had many pen pals through a club at Radio Netherlands - I wrote to friends in India, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and other places. Sadly, we've all lost touch.

Many years later I signed up for an online pen pal club. I was contacted by a woman in Luxembourg who had children around the same age as my own. We've been good friends for almost 18 years now and finally got to meet in person last year. My family visited Paris, so one day I took the train to Riems and she and her family drove over to meet me. We both still wear our matching "Best Friend" bracelets.
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Verunslv, Russia
I have penpals in my country. And I found one penpal by Postcrossing when I wanted to have a direct swap from that country. He is busy for regular writing but I am glad he is still my friend (and penpal too). :)
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smeuldersdrawings, Netherlands
STORY-CARDS: stories on and about (handmade) cards:

about a year ago I read at this blog about a journalist
who had made a book with stories on cards -
that brought me at the following idea:
to exchange with other interested postcrossers
stories on and abóút the pictures on the (handmade) card(s) ....

during this year I met a few people who join this "project"
and we have much statisfaction by creating these stories -
with some of them I am even making continuing stories
and that is also very fascinating and stimulating !

please feel free to let me know if YOU are interested too ... :-)
just watch your card and "talk" by writing about it -

also there are a lót of (random)postcrossers
who write frequently to me about their study, being in love,
their first baby, their art-creations ...
what is most important in their lives -

thank you dear friends for sharing -
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freez, United Kingdom
When I started high school we were asked if we would write to people in our twin school in what was the USSR.
I took up the offer, it led to meeting him on an exchange 2 years later, being in the USSR at the time of its collapse. Seeing tanks and soldiers with guns EVERYWHERE! Which isnt a normal scene for an English High school student

We still write 30 years later though Royal mail struggles to deliver to the area that's now part of the area of Ukraine occupied by Russia.

I've now got a number of other penpals too which seems to grow each year due to taking part in the International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo) each February.
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Flippie, Canada
I don't like pen-pals, I like Post-crossing better with receiving and sending cards.
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betslets, United States of America
I've often done things backwards...my pen pal experiences first began when I was a teen, by initially meeting or knowing someone who would move away...then, we'd keep in touch. That said, I have a few of those with whom I still keep in touch, even after 40 years. One current pen pal is a former exchange student who lives in South America.

As a mom of a son with special needs, I responded to an invitation in a magazine (Exceptional Parent) for those wanting to share (as a "pen-pal") similar experiences and challenges of raising our children. I have kept in touch with three parents for 25 years. Up until recently, all our communication was through letters -- some not as frequent, but always steady. Now, we've gone to some emailing, too. And I anticipate that I will soon meet one of these since she will be moving closer to us.

Through Postcrossing, I have a few pen pals, too. Sometimes we've written (to carry on the pen-pal experience) but we e-mail, also.

Basically, we all CONNECT with each other, and I think that's the most important aspect whether through cards, letters, or e-mail.
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Wendy-xiaowen, China
I think it is very interesting to connecte with people in an old fation way.I was looking forward to having a penpal.Fortunately I had one this August.
I love the feeling when I am reading the letter and writing back!An envelope covered a very long distance---just for you!That is amzing!
I hope I can have more penpals.
I really like to talk about the daily life and share the feeings(happy or upset)to others.

happy postcrossing !💓
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a_n_n_e, Germany
I really like the idea of having pen-pals :-) Found a few very nice people here on postcrossing to write to but i'm always open to new people so volunteers to write me are highly welcomed :-)
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Lotta9, Australia
I was pleased to see so many from Australia.
Myself, I have had penpals for over 50yrs, some I met through our interest in Cross Stitching, that was over 40yrs ago and I am still in touch with a number of them and actually visited with a few when I travelled overseas back in 2000.
I have not made any new penpals in a long time, but am open to enjoying new friendships.
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smeuldersdrawings, Netherlands
HILARIOUS teenage-memory:
my first (handsome:-) penpal ...
felt so "DANGEROUS" ....
put it in perspective please -

I was about 14/15 years old and our class was encouraged by our teachers to write to students in other countries - I got the beautiful name of luis manuel fereiro r. from portugal and that sounded very good in young ears :-)
marginal note: it was ca. 1968, and once or twice a year there arrived at my parents an-air-letter/"envelop" from two brothers who lived after WOII in new zealand and australia, television was nót in every livingroom and was black-white and not everybody had an own telephone, but had to use one of the street-telephone-booths ...

so you can understand that it was a great adventure to have a name and adress from someone from a country far away: PORTUGAL !!!

I wrote and yep, I got a letter back ... with a very very beautiful picture of a handsome boy, a few years older than I was (great :-) and even a picture of him and his friends "riding" wild on their motorbikes, júmping between dust and clouds of sand ....

I did not share this picture at home with my parents and my many brothers and sisters ... it felt as if I did something wrong ... an élderly boy !!!
I wrote back and enclosed pasport photograph that I had because we had a trip to neighbourcountry belgium with our class and needed a pasport -
I was a girl with long blond hair (nowadays more looking like "snowwhite"),
very thin and I was insecure because I wore spectacles -
but guess: very very quick I got a long long letter with a lot of kind words that made me blush ... ánd a big drawing of a nesting bird with four young birds in it ....

oefffffffffffffffff - in my opinion I had a big problem ....
did the boy had already made up plans in future with me in the leading role ? and would he come unexpectely to my country on his motorbike to pay a visit ? and most important: how would my parents react ... ?
dear friends:
THIS COWARD broke her first penpal-mailing immediately :-)
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silverdoe, Korea (South)
Although South Korea didn't mentioned, but I voted for Yes and I still have!
I have couple of penpal from japan and also have postcardpals from finland, japan, usa, canada. :D
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awkwardnative, United States of America
I've never be able to keep up the correspondence. Someone always ends up forgetting to write back. Which makes me so sad.
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kathilo, United States of America
Personally, I prefer a regular exchange of letters with a dedicated pen pal rather than the one-time sending of a postcard, which is the premise of Postcrossing. Happily, thru Postcrossing, I have connected with at least 3 people who do send me regular letters.
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AsEWiese, Germany
i didn't see the poll...
i had a penpal in the age of 7 til 14. another as aschoolgirl frm finland organized by school to write in english. but it
stopped quickley.
i'd like to re-start again.. so if you are interested, fell free and invited!
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myshadow, Canada
I had lots of penpals when I was a teenager in Germany. Don't have any living in Canada now. But I am still in contact with my dear French friend who I know since we both were 13. I spent three summers in Paris at her place. Hard to believe that it all started almost 40 years ago. ♥
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Lieve1981, Belgium
My first pen pal was a girl from Finland. I was 12 and she was 11 when we wrote our first letters.
We stopped writing after some years but we still have each other on Facebook and are witnessing each other's children grow up.
I'll be 37 soon.
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SophietheValiant, Kazakhstan
I used to have penpals through Postcrossing but I stopped writing to them because of being busy with studying, work. I am more confident in writing a postcard, than a letter.
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beesknees, United States of America
I sent a lot of my childhood photos to penpals 40 years ago - I regret that cos now I barely have a young picture of me - but it was fun at the time. I still have a shoebox with my teenage penpal letters - if I ever get through my to do list (neverending) I will read them again.
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Giovanni17, Italy
Hi!!!!
Me, thanks to my aunt, I have many friends of pen.
But I don't have friends of pen foreign.
Best wishes,
Giovanni
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MelissaHurk, Netherlands
I've been penpals with 2 inmates from America for half a year now. I really enjoy writing them and getting to know their life in prison and getting to know them.
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sunny25, India
I had a penpal when I was kid. Postcrossing is an excellent platform and I gained many good friends.
Looking for penpals from Europe, Bhutan and Turkey.
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Greta_Vgs, Hungary
I always wanted a penpal. Especially from Britain.So if you're British or native english speaker and looking for a penpal...I'm here. :)
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lillsche, Germany
Maybe you folks at POSTCROSSING.COM should not only provide a check box whether one wants to swap postcards, but also a check box whether one is looking for penpals :)
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BeautyAdornsVirtue, United States of America
Seems that you'd get more responses if you polled ALL members. How about e-mail? I'm disappointed that I miss out on so much because I don't check "the front page."
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teamug, Germany
I always wanted penpals and used to have them in the past, but I was mainly the active one and often had to write several times, until I got a reply.
What I love about postcrossing penpalling: I usually take note of the user name, and if I hadn't heard from s.o. for a while I just message them directly (without having to keep an email address). Often a letter just got lost in transit and we both realise the contact did not break off due to lack of interest.... I also found most postcrossing penpals very reliable, since they became active members because of the shared interest in real mail.

I have now gained penpals from AU, AT, BY, CA, CN, CZ, DE, FI, FJ, FR GB, HK, ID, IN, JP, KZ, LT, MT, NL, NZ, QA, RU, TW, UA, US, and more....
And as crazy as this sounds, I am still looking for more.
Some send me letters, some send me the letter on many cards in an envelope, I even received parcels. And I respond likewise. It is such a satisfactory experience....
I am with postcrossing for nearly 6 years and some penpals are still with me right from the start....
You are interested? Write me!!!!
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shc, Indonesia
I used to have penpals but most likely they are bored with me :-)
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LiuYiping, China
China have a website named 'teiba'. People can find penpals on there
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Gaspara, Italy
I had penpals from the age of12, but now I haven't. I must say that with a couple of them I'm still in touch but via mail. With one also sometimes by phone and we met many times or in Poland or, mostly, in Italy. Our friendship began in 1973.
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Aismi, Russia
I've been writing letters to my Chinese penpal for 1,5 years, but as she had entered the University she became too busy for penpalling and since the beginning of this year I have no penpals for writing real letters... But I'd like to find another penpals, this is so interesting to read long letters and to write long replies and to choose little gifts for sending with a letter.

When I was a child my mum told me how she and her classmates had penpals from school in Bulgaria and were sending different pretty gifts to each other, I was upset that in my school we hadn’t something like that, but a couple of years ago I found this nice Postcrossing website and was surprised that we can send beautiful cards all over the world.
So I feel thankful to this project because it gave me this opportunity helped me (and all other users) to express this nice feeling of having something cute and amazing in my mailbox!
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BaileyQuinn, Canada
I had 3 penpals when I was a teenager (from Switzerland, Belgium and South Africa) that I wrote regularly for about 4 years between the ages of roughly 15-19 years old. I got them from that organization that was based in Turku, Finland – anyone else remembers about that? – that would provide you with the address of another teen in a foreign country in return for a small fee. I had a great time writting and receiving letters from them. Our exchanges stopped when we all went to University. Which was ok.

I've been a member of Postcrossing for a little over 3 years now and found 3 penpals through the Web site. The first one was from the U.S. and it lasted for about 3-4 months. The second one was from Germany and it lasted for almost one year. We emailed one another at least once a week and also sent packages by mail. We had such a great time that I bought plane tickets to go visit him in Germany (where I never thought I would ever go, since I don't speak the language). Unfortunately, he got cold feet (or so I think, anyway) and stopped answering my emails about 3 weeks before the date of my trip. I was pretty upset, but as I had already bought my airplane tickets and reserved an hotel, I went to Germany anyway. And I'm happy to say that I had a wonderful time! I loved Germany and the little town near Frankfurt where my hotel was (which was the town where my penpal lived, so it was special even without him because he had previously told me so much about it). So, even though I never heard again from my penpal (I did email him to ask him out for coffee once I was there, but never got a reply), our correspondence was still very much worth it!

Right now, I have a penpal in Brittany, France, where I hope to go one day. It's been getting increasingly irregular (which I can understand seeing as she's 23 and starting her career), so I don't know how much longer it will last, but that's ok. It's been fun and if we ever lose touch, I'll still be sure to contact her and ask her if she'll meet me when I finally go to Brittany!

I'll admit to not being so much into penpalling as I was when I was younger. I work full time, for once, and then, I work full-time as a translator, which means that I already spend about 40 hours a week writting. Plus, I tend to write really long letters, so penpalling takes a lot of time, as far as I'm concerned. Postcrossing works well for me because the size of a postcard means that I can't write for hours... Still, I like meaningful connections, so I spend a lot of time decorating each postcard that I send and I fill it up to the brim with words! Sometimes, if it feels like I have a lot in common with someone, I'll even send them 2 postcards so that I'll have room to write a longer message. I guess that, in a way, this way of doing things feels like a happy medium to me! I also do direct swaps, once in a while, with other people who also like meaningful exchanges (not collectors) and we'll often end up exchanging a few letters.
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BaileyQuinn, Canada
I think that the organization in Finland was called "IFS" or something like that. That was several years before the Internet : you would fill a form asking about your age, your interests, the languages that you spoke as well as the countries in which you would like to get a penpal, and this organization would match you up with another teen who had requested a penpal from your country. You could even end up being matched up with more than one person. This service was offered for a very small fee, so even young teens who didn't have a lot of money could afford to pay.

I don't remember where I heard about it or where I got the form from, but I do remember an English teacher having everyone in the class fill out a form when I was 16. I already had penpals at that point, but got another one for that class. I think that it was something that was pretty popular at some point (probably between 1985 and 1995 or around those years).

Anyway : having penpals is a lot of fun and everyone should try it at least once! So, if you're thinking about it, just go for it. Just don't have too many expectations, and remembers that you'll end up richer for it, no matter how long it lasts! :-)
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pucky, Netherlands
I also missed this poll. I had penpals when I was a young girl and now at old age I have new ones through postcrossing! Some ended, but 3 of them are still there , 2 for many years now. We write through our own emailadresses meanwhile, stamps are expensive for me so I keep them for my postcards.
I like it a lot when people write interesting things on their cards but there is little space, some cannot write in English, others write the same things from the profile. So I guess not all want to write many things and do not want penpals. It also needs some kind of click.
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teamug, Germany
@BaileyQuinn: Next time you travel to germany or any other country to meet postcrossers, reach out to others as a "Back-Up".
In Frankfurt for example we have a Postcrossing Breakfast Group...and there are also P.C. groups that meet regularly organizing themselves via the P.C. forum or facebook...
We would not have left you stranded :-)

But I am glad you had a good time anyway...
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nikkumathew, India
Wow really glad that 47% if Indians are really interested in having pen pals. Hope we get some guidance as to how to go about getting sincere ones.
Thank you
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CH_PESIT, India
Since my childhood days, I just love to write post card letters. Later , it was declined sharply;but , now it's post crossing that has relaunched effectively all that spirit, joyness and lovely creativity. Life is full of natural moments in place of digitechs that unknowingly eats away one's culture & health.
Truly, I would be happy to share my words and views with a 'best penpal friend' somewhere across the sea..! I hope would definitely..!!
"Love to learn and learn to Live"..,!!
Have a pleasant day..,Lovely post crossers...!
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Leonie01, Canada
I never really thought about having a penpal. but if I could have one I would prefer to have one that is over 65 & lives in England.
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shihmeisu, Taiwan
Yes,l do want a penpal,but l dont see the vote.
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MorgenSter, Finland
Oh, how sad I didn't see this poll!
I had many penpals over the years, stopped for a while and just recently got back :)))) If anyone would like to write me, drop me a message! :) From all over the world, preferably females. I'm a 32 year old Brazilian, living in Finland! :)
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