Many of us remember having pen friends back when we were at school. However, more recently pen friends seem to have become a thing of the past. With social media, emails and texts nowadays – who would think that pen friends still existed!? Well, a couple of months ago I remembered about a pen friends club I was part of when I was 10 years old – and after a quick Google search, I discovered that the club is still around today! So I decided to sign up… and I realised that I’m not the only one who still thinks pen friends are relevant in 2018!
The club I joined up to is called ‘International Pen Friends’ (IPF) (#notspon). The way it works is that you fill in a registration form with your details, including your hobbies, and what sort of pen friends you are after, including the countries they come from and the gender. Once you sign up and pay a small registration fee, IPF match you up with other people from all over the world in your age group, and within a few weeks, you are sent a list of 15 pen friends to write to. Your details are also passed on to a further 10 people, so you are included in the list of pen friends they receiving when they join.
And since I joined up earlier this year, I’ve 100% fallen back in love with having pen friends!
You immerse yourself in something tech-free
The main reason I re-discovered my old pen friends club is because I wanted to do something that does not involve looking at my computer or phone screen. Corresponding with pen friends involves no technology at all – you hand write your letter on (actual!) stationery and post it off at your local post office. It’s so old school, but so relaxing too. It’s great for slowing things down and a reminder of times when you wouldn’t expect to hear back from someone in an instant. It’s pretty eye-opening!
You actually get to put pen to paper
…And realise that your handwriting isn’t anywhere as neat as it used to be! I love writing, which is one of the reasons why I started this blog. However, most of what I write is on my laptop or phone. I type more than I write, and I really missed actually putting pen to paper and hand writing a letter on some pretty looking stationery. Which brings me to…
You have a great excuse to buy more amazing stationery
I know I’m not the only one out there who just loooooooves stationery! I love pens, notepads, coloured and patterned paper. Yet I normally stop myself from buying too much stationery because I don’t really get to use it much. Since getting back into writing letters, I have really enjoyed getting to use all my pens and writing paper that have been gathering dust for the last few years. And of course, it’s also a great excuse to get your hands on more stationery!
You get excited about receiving letters in the post
We’ve all experienced the joy and excitement that comes with receiving something in the post (that’s not a bill, etc.). However, most of the time this would be something that we’d ordered and spent money on online. As hobbies go, having pen friends isn’t that expensive. Of course, you’ve got to spend some money on writing paper, pens and postage – but that’s still far less than spending money on a big old ASOS haul! Plus, you get to receive letters from other like-minded people from different countries, right in your letter box!
You make friends from different countries
Of course, one of the best things about having pen friends is that you get to make friends with people from all over the world. Nothing quite beats the feeling of discovering similarities you’ve got with someone who lives half way around the globe and building a friendship through your letters!
Do you have any pen friends? Is it something that you’d like to give a go?