Send Us Your Most Unforgettable Postcards!

Nothing says “travel” like the image of a simple, classic postcard. Postcards have always distilled the joys of travel into their simplest form: a single image and just enough room to say, “wish you were here.” Like Instagram, except meaningful! From the vintage illustrated postcards of yesteryear to the kitschy goofball mementos you can find in countless gift shops to this day, our fascination with the humble postcard has hardly seemed to dim, even as the world changes around them. Atlas Obscura has long held an interest in postcards, but somehow, it doesn’t seem like we’ve ever asked our community to share their favorites. Well, we’re going to fix that, because now we want to see the most beloved, unforgettable, and meaningful postcards you’ve ever received or collected!

(Image: Markus Spiske/Public Domain)

In the thread below, show us the greatest postcards you’ve ever received or picked up on your travels! Tell us where it came from, and most importantly, why it’s so special to you. And of course, please post a picture of your favorite postcard, because we really have to see them. Your submission may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura. Help us create the most wondrous postcard collection anywhere!

I tend to collect a lot of travel ephemera including brochures, maps, and ticket stubs, but rarely buy or keep postcards. Here are three I do have. The first is from Switzerland in 1974. I was just 19 and had determined to climb the Matterhorn. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I kept this postcard showing the major climbing routes including the classic and easiest (relatively speaking) route: the blue line showing the “Hörnli Route” up the central ridge, which is how I reached the top.

These other postcards that I’ve kept forever are two of my favorite 1950-60s style cartoon cards from Texas, my home state, where everything is BIG. :smiley:

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I’ve always loved writing letters in general, and sending postcards in particular. Of course, I also love receiving them — so much so that the postcards and letters I’ve received are one of the few precious things I’ve kept and carried along in my nomadic life over the past 12 years. But I’ll share something about the ones I’ve sent — I hope that’s OK :slight_smile:

When I went from Copenhagen to Istanbul by bicycle in 2016, I decided to send a postcard to each person who helped me find a place to sleep along my way. After a couple of months on the road, I had dozens of those to write — tingles of excitement traveled across my body and grateful memories flashed before my eyes as I sat for a few hours to revisit the whole experience and reconnected with each encounter with my hosts, and what they meant to me — much warmer than mindlessly tagging photos online!

I call it delaygram.

A few months later, I started vagabonding full-time, and departed on my next cycle tour. The beginning of the tour retraced part of my Copenhagen–Istanbul route, and I swang by to greet the folks I’d met a few months earlier. One family, in particular, kept the postcard I’d sent them from Istanbul on display in their living room, on top of their TV — it was so touching when they showed it to me!