I started collecting postcards when I was about 5 years old. My only Grandfather lived in Germany, and it was a fun way for us to correspond and have some sort of relationship. I adored the "Hilde" postcards, and he soon started sending me a different one each time he wrote. I had a special bond with my paternal Grandfather, although I only met him a few times.
A few years later my adopted Grandparents in Denver started sending me postcards from their vacations, which were mostly road-trips around the USA. My collection continued to grow and eventually filled two binders. As my collection grew, my mother, who also collected postcards when she was young, started adding postcards to my binders from her collection. I had so much fun dreaming of traveling to exotic places! I would sort and re-sort the postcards by type, location, like/dislike, etc.
It wasn't until I was in my 20's, when I sorted the postcards chronologically by sender, that I realized there were a few postcards from my maternal grandmother to my mother. One such postcard was sent to my mother as a teenager who was visiting family in Berlin. My Grandmother wrote and asked her to come home early because my Grandfather's illness had taken a turn for the worse. My Grandmother died a few months later of an unrelated disease, and my Grandfather several weeks after that.
I also found a postcard from a ship that my paternal Grandfather sailed on to immigrate to the USA. He sent it to his parents and explains that when he got seasick, the crew told him to eat rollmops and drink beer and hot cocoa (yes, pickled herring + beer + chocolate).
My current postcard collection is divided into two sets. One set is the pictures I like sorted by theme - exotic places, animals that make me smile, costumes that I dream of making. The other set is from family and pieces together our story.
I still send postcards when I travel and am an active trader.