Sunday, September 22, 2013

How To Find International Pen Pals

Start Writing To International Pen Pals

When I was a teenager, I signed up through a high school program to be a pen pal, and ended up getting a letter from a guy in Korea. We exchanged letters many times and he sent me things like gum, music, and other small trinkets with Korean writing on them. I loved it! I'm not sure what stopped the letter writing but I do remember getting a letter written completely in Korean and responding, but never hearing back again. For all I know something could have happened to him and his parents had written to me, but I'll never know. Recently as we have started to go through cancer life...I wanted an outlet to express myself, talk about me as a person, (not just being a mom) and do something that was fun. Remembering my experience with my friend from Korea, I looked into how to find international pen pals.

It didn't take me long to find Sassociations. It's a free place (website) to "advertise" what type of pen pals you would like whether it's email, snail mail, only men, only women, no prisoners, etc. In my advertisement, I specified that I would like both men and women pen pals from other countries than the USA only, and only snail mail. I made sure to mention that I'm not looking for romance across the seas (what kind of sense would THAT make?!) and not to write asking me for money. I think all the ads have that in it. I have seen some where people specified no prisoners. I didn't put that, but I'm very careful about whoever writes to me. If it was someone genuine just looking for letters and friends I'd probably write them back. Though I did get one letter from a prisoner already that I tore up and threw out because it sounded "fishy".

Of course you can look for pen pals in your own country, but I decided I wanted to learn about other places and other cultures if I'm going to put the time and effort into this. I want to know histories, traditions, holidays, and other things about other places! I find myself full of questions to ask and not being able to fit all of it in one letter. I try with each letter to write something personal about me, because I genuinely want to get to know and be friends with the people I'm exchanging letters with. Then, I'll ask about something I'm curious about in their country, and/or share something about my culture and the USA that they may or may not know.

I'm about to have to take down my advertisement. I've gotten so many responses. I do want a lot of friends, but not so many I can't keep up. I've already sent and gotten back a letter from two friends in England, and I know I have one more on the way from another gentleman in England. Then, I have sent one to a friend in Australia that I hope to hear back from soon. I sent one to a very nice girl in Canada, and I'm expecting one soon from a woman in France who writes and speaks English so fluently! That makes me so happy because I'm fascinated with France for some reason. Then there's one more lady in Finland who is patient and willing to let me take my time writing. I tell them all I'm a cancer mom and I get busy sometimes, so they understand about the time limits. It takes time doing snail mail anyway...but when you open your box and get a letter it's so exciting! It's so much more fun than email. 

I love the two letters I have received already. As I mentioned they were both from England and they have a little blue sticker on them that reads "BY AIR MAIL par avion" and at the bottom says "Royal Mail". I'm like...whoa...royal mail! That is so cool! It's a super fun hobby, and I'm enjoying it so very much.

I hoped this post helped you if you're looking to get started writing letters as a hobby. If you live in another country than the USA, not looking for romance, and don't want money...I'm still open to other friends. Have fun and be blessed!

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