MAKE YOUR LETTERS SHINE !
Receiving a letter or email from a penpal is exciting enough already, but when writing letters its always a good idea to add something a little more interesting that just words. It doesn't have to be that elaborate to be effective.. sometimes its the simple things that really make a difference - Make sure you use your imagination - the possibilities are endless!
Make it unique to your Country!
When thinking of how to make your email or letter special... what about including
something that is specific to your country. Comming from Australia, one thing we have alot of, is the Gum trees or Eucalyptus trees. I like to send my penpals a dried leaf from these trees - it carries a distinctive smell and immediately my penpals get an idea of the Australian Outback which is priceless. I have also sent samples of our red sand and dirt that you find in Australia. I simply glue the sand to the letter i am writing. The effect can be extreme, yet very simple to apply. Most penpallers are fascinated by the unique facets of another country or place.
If you are not sending snailmail - don't worry, you can still have alot of fun by email. In fact on the email and chat programs you can do alot of really fun stuff. For instance my penpal that i communicate with in the US will only write to me via ICQ. So we frequently exchange photos and little short movies when we communcate. When we chat using ICQ we always choose a font and wallpaper that reflects how we are feeling that day.. the stationary available electronically is amazing and second to no other form of communcation. The great thing now is that if you don't like the stationary that is available on the internet - you can make your own.
The main thing to make your letters or emails special - is that keep in mind what is unique to you and where you are from. For instance, if you go on a holiday - buy some stationary from the place you are visiting. If you are a electronic communicator - search for something on the internet that is related to the place you are visiting. Create the atmosphere of another place in your correspondance - be creative and be inspiring! Its amazing how "catchy" the penpalling bug is - once it starts it is hard to put a stop to it! I really loved the letter I once received from a friend who was visiting Egypt. She sent me a fantastic papyrus scroll that had hieroglyphs and unique egyptians symbols on it. I really felt like I was reading an ancient egyptian scroll - it was fantastic!
Keep in mind that whilst it is fun and exciting to send things by post.. it should not be expected. Penpals should not request gifts or special items by post. If it is a special occassion, perhaps a birthday or christmas or you just wish to brighten your penpals day - that is great.. just make sure that it is your decision to send the items and your not sending items becuase you feel obligated. In the same token, if you enjoy sending items - keep in mind that you may embarass your penpals if you are sending them expensive or inappropriate gifts.