In nearly every bedroom I’ve lived in over the last four years, I’ve had a postcard wall. It has grown over time, little by little, expanding from a small cluster in my sophomore year dorm to an entire wall in my senior year apartment.
Close friends know how much I cherish these postcards—they’re my special keepsake from each place I travel to, reminding me of special days in small ways. I have artwork from renaissance and modern museums, vintage postcards from a flea market in the south of France, and touristy prints that I’ve picked up from train stations. No matter the postcard, I appreciate the sentiment. Each one captures a piece of my travels.
I’ve come to realize my indecision has probably influenced my affinity for such keepsakes, because I’d much rather take something small from each place than be forced to pick a handful of pretentious souvenirs.
Instead of only remembering the canals in Amsterdam and beaches in Cebu, I can hold onto paintings from the Uffizi Gallery and the sketch of a restaurant in Paris. I can have prints of the Colosseum, but cool graphics of the New York City skyline, too. I don’t need to pick and choose one scene from each trip; postcards let me have it all.
To anyone who’s new to traveling, I recommend picking up a postcard over a T-shirt on your next trip. Not only are they smaller, easier to pack, and far cheaper, they’re personal, too. I like to write a note on the back of each one—a highlight of the day, a favorite memory, or something I learned while being in that place.
At this point I’ve collected over 50 postcards, but the simple excitement each one brings me is still there. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking at them.