a postcard is worth 1,000 memories
I once bought a book of postcards from a street vendor in Athens, Greece.
It was 2010. Social media was on the rise, and the concept of sending postcards from the road was all but over.
I never intended to mail the postcards. I bought them for my young nephews as souvenirs from my latest European adventure.
Lame souvenirs, yes, but souvenirs nonetheless.
tiny greek forks
It was the last day of our trip. My girlfriend (now wife) and I were killing time in the Athens airport waiting to board our flight home.
We sat on bar stools next to a large window with a view of the runway. We shared McDonald’s fries that we ate with tiny plastic forks.
Why did we use forks? Because the cashier had given us forks, and we assumed that is how the Greeks add class to fast food fries.
During our six weeks in Europe, we kept a running list of quotes from people we met on the road. Some of the quotes were silly, and some were serious. All of them were memorable.
As a joke, we decided to write a postcard to ourselves using only the quotes from our list. It took only a few minutes, and it was a lot of fun.
We bought a stamp at a gift shop and mailed the postcard. Then we flew home and forgot about it.
you've got mail!
Several days later, our postcard arrived. I chuckled when I read it. That was expected.
What I did not expect was for the sharp, vivid memories of that day in the airport to come flooding back as I read my own words.
I was virtually transported back to Athens. I recalled nearly every detail about the airport—the french fries, the tiny forks, and the row of Olympic Air jets occupying the jetways outside that big window.
Reading my postcard brought back the bittersweet emotions of that day as a wonderful adventure had drawn to a close. For a brief moment, I even re-lived my mental preparation for a long journey home.
Once again, I’d stumbled on an unusual way to tap into the power of my own memory.
There was something about the acts of writing, mailing, and receiving that postcard that dusted off memories that otherwise may have been lost forever.
put your stamp on it!
Go ahead, give it a try!
The next time you travel, buy a postcard and scribble down a few amusing thoughts.
Mail it to yourself, and see what memories come flooding back when that little beauty arrives in your mailbox.