I Heart My Hometown: #PostcardProject
National Geographic Traveler features editor Amy Alipio recently asked our readers to weigh in on whether they thought the postcard was obsolete.
The response was astounding.
Seems the postcard isn’t the dying art (and travel tradition) we feared it was. In the past three months (and with a little help from the Postcrossing.com community), hundreds of rectangle-shaped missives—from Shanghai to Sheboygan—have flooded into Nat Geo headquarters to put a point on that fact.
Some of the postcards are handmade, featuring original photography, sketches, or collage work. Others were sent by postcard enthusiasts and deltiologists (collectors) or avid travelers reporting in from the road.
But the lion’s share of the postcards we received were sent by people who just plain love where they live.
Here’s a dash of travel inspiration from hometown-proud locals in cities across the United States:
“I’m from Walla Walla, Washington. The town’s so nice, they named it twice! (Seriously, though! [USA Today] voted us “Friendliest Town in America” in 2011.) Once known only as the home of the state penitentiary and sweet onions, ‘WW’ has become the birthplace of the booming Washington State wine industry, which has ushered in a new wave of award-winning restaurants, art, and culture. Yes, we are a small town: You might get stuck driving behind a farmer’s combine during wheat harvest or be visited by a herd of deer or a family of raccoons in your backyard. But you can get anywhere in town in five minutes, eat at incredible, locally conscious restaurants, or visit one of our many wineries, all while surrounded by the stunning vistas of our blue mountains and rolling fields.” —Kara Flerchinger
“We live in Lafayette, Louisiana, right in the middle of Acadiana, [which] is probably one of the most unique areas in the country. French language and Acadian culture [are] everywhere. Everything is celebrated with a festival. There’s the Festival International de Louisiane—a free five-day music festival [that happens in late April]—and the Crawfish Festival down the road in Breaux Bridge is the weekend after…right in the middle of crawfish season. Ça c’est bon!” —Alex and Rebekah Simoneaux
“Greetings from Oberlin, Ohio! Home of white squirrels, a liberal arts college and music conservatory, part of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), and so much more. Oberlin [played an] active [part] in the Underground Railroad and has been described as ‘the town that started the Civil War.'” —Max Annable
“Coronado, also called Coronado Island, is connected to San Diego, California. [In addition to being a] beautiful place with a quaint downtown and gorgeous beaches, it’s also a wonderful place to visit for fans of L. Frank Baum and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [Baum] and his wife often wintered in Coronado (eventually buying a home), and he’s said to have written three Oz books here!” —Sangita Baxi
“I have lived for close to a decade in NYC and still manage to get lost in this fabulous art-rich place. Today I stumbled upon Pioneer Works Studio and saw glass sculptures by artist Dustin Yellin and even met him in person. When in Brooklyn, visit.” —Marlene Acevedo
“Welcome to Detroit—aka the Motor City, Hockey Town, and, [more] recently, ‘The D.’ We are home to art museums, a history museum and science center, four professional sports teams, an opera house, concert halls, casinos, and more fine, ethnically diverse restaurants than you can count. Just outside of the city is the Henry Ford Museum and Village. If you are bored here—it is your own fault!” —Nancy Sisco
“Annapolis is the state capital of Maryland and briefly served as the capital [of the United States] between 1783 and 1784. [The city, which is] located 30 miles east of Washington, D.C., is home to the United States Naval Academy, the oldest active state house in the country, the four signers of the Declaration of Independence from Maryland (Charles Carroll, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and Samuel Chase), and the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Known as the sailing capital of the world, Annapolis hosts multiple boat shows every year! Come visit!” —Kate Ganley
“A foodie haven, a stomping ground for young professionals, [and] a near-perfect farmers market (whatever Seattle) are just a couple of the resume builders that brought and kept me in Des Moines. We’re ‘Iowa Nice’ with ‘Fields of Opportunity,’ and every four years VIPs from all over come to compete in the Iowa caucuses. [We haven’t hosted] the Olympics, yet, but the Drake Relays are close enough. In the words of everyone’s favorite T-shirt from Raygun: ‘Des Moines: Hell Yes.'” —JT Cattle
“Here in Rochester, New York, we are lucky to be near Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, plus the Erie Canal runs through our area. Downtown Rochester has the beautiful High Falls formed by the Genesee River flowing north to Lake Ontario (very few world rivers flow north like the Nile in Egypt). Around town there are museums like the Strong Museum of Play and the International Museum of Photography and Film in George Eastman’s house. Lots to see and do here.” —Kris Brakoniecki
“The Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, features art utilizing the same materials that are used to make bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. How cool is that?! The Center and the Kohler factory tour combine to make for an incredible journey into American manufacturing and worldwide art. Well worth a visit to the Great Midwest!” —Cindy Murray
“Greetings from Boston! As a transplant from Seattle, Boston—and New England—took some getting used to. The winters are terrible and everything in the city had so much historical weight and stodigness that it took me a while to relax and start to enjoy [my new hometown]. One of the first places where I felt real joy and a desire to stay in Boston was in the Public Garden. The Swan Boats are such an unexpected piece of whimsy in an otherwise very restrained city that just seeing them brings a smile to my face.” —Erika Larson
“My husband and I moved to Sarasota, Florida, from Portland, Oregon, four years ago. We have a beach that was voted the best in the U.S. (Siesta Beach) and the amazing Ringling Museum. I love to look for shark teeth on the beaches.” —Casey Olsen
- Nat Geo Expeditions
> Be a part of the #PostcardProject
Mail us a postcard from your travels or even from your hometown for a chance to be featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine or online.
Include your name and where you live in your note, along with a short paragraph about what makes wherever you are unique. The more specific (and surprising), the better!
Finally, use hashtag #PostcardProject to spread the word or to share your postcard on Twitter and Instagram.
National Geographic Traveler
c/o Amy Alipio
1145 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036