I suppose it is inevitable that the progress I made with Stamps in 2017 is balanced by a fairly disappointing year with Postcards.
I have spent the last forty five years travelling thru-out Ireland. This means that I have been to most towns, villages and historic sites on at least three occasions. The problem with postcards is that they “date” quite quickly…buildings, fashions and transport shown on cards are often not representative of the reality.
This means that re-visiting places has often involved updating my postcard collection with newer versions of old scenes.
Unfortunately fewer people actually SEND postcards. At best, they are bought as good photographs , souvenirs of vacations and now in 2017, just about everybody has a cell-phone that takes photographs and this has made postcards obsolete.
It also seems that the market-leader in Irish postcards…John Hinde…has either gone out of business or been taken over by another firm or simply re-branded. I must look into this.
I have almost 2,000 UNUSED postcards of Ireland, collected over thirty years. But I have not been able to add many in 2017.
As I reached 65 years of age in May, I can travel for free on public transport thru-out Ireland but even on the very first day of this subsidised travel, in the towns of Portlaoise and Portarlington, it was obvious that outside cities like Dublin, new postcards would be hard to find. So my Ireland collection has remained fairly static.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
I have around 1,000 UNUSED postcards from the United States of America. I have usually preferred American postcards to be unwritten and unposted, simply because this was how I started. I am still interested in USA cards, particularly those that reflect “Americana” (eg museums like Civil Rights, Halls of Fame, Birthplaces and Civil War etc). Interestingly as I resumed stamp collecting after a gap of more than ten years, I like to receive posted USA cards as well as unposted cards. In this regard, I have been helped by friends in California, Texas and Illinois. I also get a lot of help from a friend in Scotland in respect of other cards.
I do not consider postcards sent by family or friends to be part of my “collection”. I store them separately.
THE REST OF THE WORLD
The aspiration to have at least one POSTED card from every nation (about 200) in the World will be almost impossible to achieve. The availability of posted postcards depends on population size, location, economics, literacy, tourism.
For me, posted cards links two separate interests…Stamps and Postcards.
As of the end of 2017, I have posted postcards from 83 countries.
Europe: Ireland, Britain, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Vatican, Monaco, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey.
I have a postcard from Northern Cyprus sent by a member of my family.
Slovakia, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina remain elusive. But Andorra and San Marino are usually available via eBay. The ex-Soviet republics of Kazakstan, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan will be difficult.
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand. The rest will be difficult.
The Americas: Canada, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados.
I have a postcard sent by a friend from Venezuela. And a family member has sent me a card from United Nations.
Cards from some other countries are usually on eBay. But many will be difficult.
Asia: Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Israel, Republic of Korea, China.
I have a postcard from Vietnam which was sent to me by our friend and neighbour.
Surprising perhaps that I don’t have more from the Middle East but Jordan, Syria, Lebanon can be picked up.
Africa: Madagasgar, Seychelles, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Gambia.
I have a card from Morocco sent by a friend.
Many African nations, especially French speaking will be difficult.
So this is how I start 2018. I suppose my limited ambition is to reach 100 nations during the course of the year. That would represent half the countries in the world. But I doubt if it is even possible to get beyond 150 nations.