person writing a letter

The Art of Pen-Palling

Why pen-palling is an enriching hobby that everyone can do

Hobbies and InterestsFriends and relationships
By VoiceBox ·

Marci Ahr

Marci is a determined and passionate aspiring young writer located in Las Vegas, NV USA.

The Art of Pen-Palling

With all that's happening in the world, many of us are finding ourselves stuck inside, scrolling on our phones for hours on end. Pen-palling is a fun hobby that doesn't require leaving the house and helps get you off your phone and doing something that helps grow your mind & writing skills. There are so many benefits to pen-palling, and it's a perfect hobby no matter who you are!

What is pen-palling, anyway?

Pen pals are people who form long-lasting friendships through exchanging letters - the old-fashioned way! These letters are most commonly hand-written, but may also be typed out. Lots of pen pals exchange stickers, sticky notes, washi tape, and more, but this is not a requirement! For decades, people all over the world have been able to connect and make friends through pen-palling.

Why should I start pen-palling?

Pen-palling is a fun hobby in which you can connect with people you may never have had the chance to meet before. It's also a great way to learn about other people's cultures and countries! It’s especially great when you're wanting to start spending more time off your phone and embrace your creativity. 

Ashley Montgomery, a moderator of a Facebook group dedicated to pen-palling, says pen-palling gives her mind something positive to do when she would “otherwise be overthinking.”

How can I get involved?

There are lots of websites dedicated to connecting pen pals from all over the world! Some of the most popular are penpalworld.com and globalpenfriends.com. There are also numerous groups on Facebook, subreddits, and more to help connect pen pals! You can even write letters to your friends and family!

I have been writing letters to pen pals for a little over a year now, and it has helped me grow my vocabulary, learn about places I may never be able to visit, and make friends and connections all over the world. I’m a very creative person and one of my favorite things to do is decorate my letters, although it isn’t required, it is exciting to see all the ways you can decorate an otherwise simple piece of paper. Another thing I love about pen-paling is the happiness that comes with finding a new letter in the mailbox. I can't tell you how many bad days a letter in the mailbox has fixed. 

There is so much you can tell about a person in a letter, from the words somebody chooses to their handwriting. Some of my closest friends are my pen pals, and I feel like I can trust them and tell them anything. Pen-palling, and being able to trust my pen friends has improved my mental health so much!

One of the most beautiful things about pen-palling is that anybody can do it regardless of age, where they are from, what they look like, etc. Everybody is included! It is such a fun and unique way to make friends. I love sharing this hobby with all of my friends and family, and I really think you will too! 

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