There were three things that always happened whenever I went on holiday as a little girl. First, would be my parents stressing after arriving at the airport that the accommodation they'd booked was going to be nothing like the travel agent's brochure, secondly, someone would always complain that they liked it hot but this was too hot, and thirdly, my brother and I would always send a postcard bragging about our trip to friends and family members.
We knew we'd probably arrive home before these cards made it through the postal system, but it didn't stop us perusing the spinning racks to choose the perfect postcard, usually a generic beach shot, luminous cocktail or hazy sunset, then sit and pen a short and sweet message about the weather or the hotel food. Let's just say those childish scribbles will never win any literary prizes.
The older I've got, and the more I've travelled, I no longer have that pit of the stomach dread that the accommodation will be awful, Tripadvisor and other review sites have eased my worry about that, I welcome siestas to overcome the midday heat, but I still send a postcard. However, I have a sinking feeling that I am alone in this quest to keep the humble souvenir, synonymous with Blackpool rock, cheeky buxom women and donkey rides, as think about it when did you last send one?
In this modern age we expect and want everything right now. Not after your suntan has faded, slightly gnarled through the postbox, from a trip that you took over two months ago. The rising cost of stamps, too slow snail mail and instant digital information are all affecting these little cards lives.
Outdated and naff images can't compete with the quality of shots that modern cameras and smart phones can snap in a second. Wish you were here? Well now you can be as I tweet, blog, and vlog my way around this destination. You don't have to wait ages to hear what I got up to on holiday as you can share my journey, virtually.
To keep up with the times postcards have had a social media makeover. Many apps allow you to print the summer snapshots from your phone and post them to your loved ones. The problem with all this modernisation is that the original charm gets lost in the process. We want postcards to be handwritten, sometimes barely legible, rather than generic Times New Roman font.
Despite the negatives, I believe that postcards can actually kick technology's ass. How many of us print photos regularly? It becomes another thing on your to-do list. I still have photos waiting to be sorted out, edited and printed from my first solo backpacking trip two years ago, but I do have the postcards from each country I visited displayed in my office. Take that digital world!
I believe there is a place for postcards in this modern world, we now take more pleasure from the simple things in life, and there is nothing simpler than a humble postcard. Ok so maybe their original use of sending news is a little past it, but there is something lovely about hearing the thud of the card drop through your letter box. I say let's bring postcards back in all their naff glory. It is time for the postcard renaissance.
By Katy Gough