Have We Lost the Art of Letter Writing?

This evening I was talking with my mum-in-law about how some things have changed during the 86 years of her life. One thing we hit upon was the lost art of letter writing. What happened to the days when you would sit down with pen and paper and write a letter? You would then put the letter in an envelope, write the address, put a stamp on it and mail it. Today it more about writing an email or updating your status on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

I love watching historical films and mini-series. I was watching Pride and Prejudice – one of my all time favourite mini-series, and noticed they did a lot of letter writing. In fact they would write long letters, even to people on vacation or write home about their vacation. When you think about it their vacations would last several weeks, not days and they had no other forms of communication.

What has happened to us? Everything today is instant including vacations. People don’t want to take weeks for vacation, they want days. As for letter writing forget that! They would rather Twitter, text, update Facebook, etc than pull out pen and paper and actually write a letter. You can convey so much emotion through letter writing that is missing when you type something into a phone or on a computer. By someone’s handwriting you can tell if they are happy, sad, frustrated, angry, etc.

Now I want an honest answer. How many of you send postcards while on vacation to those back home or even to yourself to remind yourself about the great vacation you had? I will admit that while I will buy postcards, I rarely send them while on vacation.

I do remember in 2006 I was in New Zealand for most of December and I purchased a stack of New Zealand postcards and then sent them to everyone on my mailing list. Those postcards became our Christmas cards that year. It was something different and everyone got to see gorgeous photos of New Zealand.

I try to always send a postcard to my folks of the places I am visiting and I try to send myself a postcard or two as well. I love postcards and I love to collect them. One thing that annoys me about postcards these days is that they have lettering on the front of the card. All I want is the picture without the writing. I’m buying the postcard for the pictures so I can frame them for my office. I don’t need big lettering across the picture to tell me where the picture is from, that is what the info on the back is for. I want to frames with pictures from different locations, i.e. a Prague frame, Budapest frame, etc. It is becoming very difficult to find postcards without writing on them.

I am digressing…back to letter writing…write yourself a letter the next time you are on vacation talking about what you have done, where you have been, what you have seen, etc. Then mail it. It is really cool to get a letter or postcard in the mail after you get back from your vacation. It brings back memories of your vacation and it becomes a keepsake from your trip. If you have trouble journaling then why not try writing a letter and let that be your journal.

Here’s a thought, when was the last time you received a personal letter or postcard from a friend or relative? How did you feel when you read that letter or postcard? I LOVE receiving letters and postcards. All the mail is these days is junk mail, bills, statements, etc. No handwritten letters or postcards. When one does arrived I’m so excited! I will either get through all the mail and save it for last when I can take the time to sit down, put my feet up and relax while I read the letter. If you have ever had that feeling then you know what I’m talking about. It is an amazing feeling to get a personal handwritten letter in the mail. Why not brighten someone’s day and send them a letter, NOT a greeting card but a letter written on a piece of paper with a pen. It doesn’t have to be on fancy paper so long as it is paper. If you make a mistake who cares. That is what I love about letter writing…mistakes make you more human and shows that we are not perfect. Oh and one little tip…don’t use black ink…it is so impersonal and harsh. Red reminds me of papers being graded in school. Blue or purple is much friendlier.

Where are you planning on going on your next vacation? Why not try writing a letter or postcard to those back home or to yourself and see what happens. The art of letter maybe on the decline but there is no need for it to disappear all-together. Who is game to take up the challenge of putting pen to paper and writing themselves or a loved one a letter or postcard and sending it while on vacation? If you can’t think of someone to send a postcard to, send me one at 11956 Bernardo Plaza Drive #440, San Diego, CA 92128 and please include your return address. You just might get a reply! 


About Helen Brahms

World globetrotter, Helen Brahms, is your Luxury Travel Concierge. She specializes in creating unique once-in-a-lifetime travel memories and charity fundraising trips. Whether your travel dreams include exotic locations or time with your family, you can have it all. Helen loves to help people cross destinations off their travel bucket list before they take a dirt nap! Helen is the host of the Have2Travel Radio Show (www.Have2TravelRadio.com) and is the author of the book "Congratulations, You're Going On a Cruise! Now What?" and the co-author of the book "Passionistas Talk!: The Best of the Passion Point Interviews (Vol. 1)"
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