Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dear Grandma

This post is about the importance of a proper postcard. Something every traveler needs to know!

I've never been much good with family communication. I've skipped a lot of family events over the years. It's not that I don't love them or that I'm not welcome, there's just always been reasons. It seemed like it was only going to get worse when I told my family I was dropping out of College and moving to Europe... Yeah, that's a big ol' bomb! Especially for my Grandmother. All of her other 8 grand children have college degrees, as do their spouses. Why did I have to be such a wild child? I was breaking her heart, she thought me a quitter and didn't understand my urge to roam at all.
I vowed to make her see that I was still getting an education! She was always a fan of a well written letter, usually LONG ones. I'm not much good for more than a paragraph or two, so I settled for Postcards. Killing two birds with one stone as it were. She would read about my adventures and learnings, while experiencing the same beauty I was witnessing first hand. I sent her one from each city I visited. I think in that 8months they totaled 10 or so. And they contained my whole heart.

So what goes into a great Post Card? It's simple, really.

1. Greet your audience. Make it familiar, something you would actually say. "Yo Bro!" or "Hey Lady" It doesn't need to contain their name since that will be in the address area.
2. Wish them well and that they were here with you! It leads right into the next part.
3. Explain the greatest thing you saw that day and how it made you think of them in some way. Let's face it, as much as they want to hear about what you're doing on your journey, they're still human! They wanna hear about themselves!
4. What's next? Are you catching a train or looking forward to a tour. Let them know there's more going on then could possibly be summed up here. They'll be looking for that next card!
5. Closing. Goodbyes and laters are the traditional ending. I, personally, use "Until next time!" it's just something that's stuck with me.
There you have it! Simple, but effective postcards. They mean more than you know to your friends and family.
Grandma has been gone 3 years now. I don't know if she ever forgave me for quitting college? I did go back, so that soothed her some what. After she passed, we cleared out her house and my aunt found all my postcards in a bundle along with letters from my Grandpa from WWII... I still write one for her on every trip, it's just that now I don't have to pay the postage.

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