My best friend, Caitlin, and I have spent the last four years corresponding via mail more than text, emails, or phone calls. I love that we each have a record of the years we spent in college and our transition post-college. I love how we both save up our best anecdotes for our letters – even if we give each other a call before we receive our replies.

Now that I have more time on my hands, I have become more interested in art form of letter-writing. While I’m waiting for Caitlin to write back, I find myself obsessing over how to write my next letter, from my writing instruments to the stamps that I use.

Current Postal Obsessions:

  1. Vintage stamps: Okay, I don’t know why I just realized that I could use cute vintage stamps to send mail. For some reason I just thought that really old stamps were “expired” or they were just used for decorating purposes. Or stamp collecting. But it only took a bit of research to realize that using vintage stamps seem to become a trend recently. Right now, I love looking at send more mail’s blog posts.
  2. Fountain pen ink: I got my first bottle of fountain pen ink a few weeks ago and I’m really excited that I’m putting my Parker Sonnet pen to good use. But now I’m itching to buy more bottled inks just to have the option of switching colors, based on my mood or based on what I’m writing. I love the threads at the Fountain Pen Network. They really know their fountain pens and inks and they are making my wishlist very, very long!
  3. Calligraphy: Calligraphy is such a huge trend now and you can see it everywhere online. I’d love to get my hands on proper calligraphy tools, but for now, I’m just going to keep cheating it.
  4. Letterpress stationery: I’ve been scouring etsy for cute letterpress greeting cards. I love shops that have a mix-and-match deal that I can get 4 to 6 cards at a discounted rate. Sadly, not all shops have this offer. I love bears eat berries and I’m hoping that there will be more designs up soon so that I can stock up on cards.


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More than one year later, I finally got my black & white film from Argentina developed.

This post complements my Buenos Aires: Week 3 post. I had alternated taking photos on my digital camera and my Leica point-and-shoot that day. I’m super happy with how my shots on film came out.

Usually, after a trip, I get upset that I didn’t take more pictures on film… But by the way these photos turned out, I’m really happy that I was choosy with each shot. I think there were only a few shots in this rollĀ  that I didn’t like.


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I started packing more than a week before my flight. I admit it; I’m a slow packer and I’m incapable of doing it all in one go. To make matters worse, I’m a very messy packer. (I”m so glad that you’re not here to see it because I think it would drive you crazy.) I like to make piles of things that I should pack, but for some reason or another they’re not ready for the suitcase yet. So I have piles of things all over the room. A pile of shoes, a pile of clothes on the bed, a pile of toiletries, etc.

Suitcase to PeruI’m also a very paranoid packer. I always have to write a list because I’m afraid that I’ll forget something. I’ve learned my lesson. After forgetting important things for a trip in the past, you tend to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Things that I have forgotten to pack in the past:

  1. Underwear – This experience had been mentally scarring. Scrubbing your underthings in the hotel bathroom sink is not my idea of a vacation.
  2. Journal – I usually never travel without a journal, but depending on our plans, I never usually find the time to write. One time, I decided to leave it at home. Big mistake. I regretted the decision so much. I ended up jotting down my thoughts on my Blackberry – which wasn’t convenient or fun.
  3. Scarf – I’m a bit prone to getting sick easily when there’s an abrupt weather change and I get chilly. The worst is getting sick in the middle of a trip.

Things that I usually never forget to pack:

  1. Books – Usually before I leave, I go through my bookshelf and pick out a stack of books to read. But now that I have an e-reader with a long battery life (for me, that means that I can read more than a book and a half in between charges), I don’t have to add 10 pounds to my luggage.
  2. Cowboy boots – My boots are super worn out and loved. They’ve traveled to the beach and to the woods. They’ve been to Asia and South America, with a brief stopover in Europe. It doesn’t matter what the weather will be like because I’ll bring them regardless.

The fuller my suitcase gets, the closer my flight feels. My big suitcase is almost ready to go. I’m just going to weigh how much it is right now and see if I can cram a few final things in it before I seal it off. My smaller suitcase is only halfway full, since I’m planning to dump most of my toiletries in there.

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