Pen Palling in a Pandemic


Penpals mail letters like these to eachother. Image from Unsplash.

Throughout the COVID 19 pandemic, many old hobbies were re-discovered because of quarantine. One of these hobbies that made a reappearance was letter writing.

Penpals are people who regularly write letters to each other, and their correspondence is usually built around the letters they send each other. The idea of pen palling was first explored in the 1930s when a group called “Student Letter Exchange” was created. The main purpose behind it was to foster more communication between students from different countries. Pen palling helps to improve writing skills, create new relationships, teach patience, and it also allows for more creativity through the letters you write. By sending letters to people across the world, there are also opportunities to learn new languages and share your culture with others. People often send their penpals small gifts like stickers or postcards.

During the coronavirus pandemic, most of the globe was on lockdown, and people who now had extra time at home would use pen palling as a hobby to connect with more people around the world or to talk to acquaintances that they couldn’t meet up with.

Nowadays there are websites made specifically to find penpals with the same interests as you, such as Global Penfriends, Penpal World, and Interpals.

To get started, all you need is paper, a writing utensil, envelopes, and stamps. You can also choose to decorate your letters as many people do, but it’s completely up to you.

Penpals are a safe way to connect with new people and find new friends from all around the world.