navigating the addresses – part 1

One of the great things about being a human being is our nearly unlimited capacity for discovery, adventure, and storytelling.

This perfect combination seems to feed our imagination, widen our horizons and bring us closer together at the same time. There’s something in being able to venture out our front door and return at the end of the day filled with thoughts, emotions and ideas that we want to share with others.

Whether it’s exploring a local shop we’ve never been in, setting out across a continent or peering into a recipe book; we press forward fired by the possibility of being surprised by the unexpected. The chance of coming across a strange and wonderful thing not part of our ordinary life. Something that inspires us to be better, embrace the richness of life and pass it on to others.


Every once in a while we stumble across a ridge that offers us a nearly unlimited view. It literally takes our breath away to look out and realize that every direction is an unexplored adventure. The immensity is overwhelming and exhilarating.

Looking at this years list of participants is a bit like that. More than a bit actually.

Your mind goes a bit numb as you realize just how many hills and trees are out there. And unless you’re just pausing on your way to a definite somewhere, it’s hard to know which direction to head.

I remember first coming across this project and thinking it was like some strange land already peopled by others. How do I introduce myself? Where do I start? Where’s the best place to go and how do I get there?

Fortunately that’s what this post is about.

You may have noticed the picture at the top of the page?

One of the most interesting things about a compass is it never tells you where to go. Instead it tells you where you’re headed.

Combine this with a chart and a plan and you can get almost anywhere you want.

If you think about it, the chart is already there. Write a letter to someone once a day for the month of February. Not very complicated and lots of room to manoeuver. We’re supposing you have all the necessaries for this adventure, pens, paper, envelopes and stamps. Pretty simple.

The next thing is the plan. Where do you want to go and what do you want to see? Personally I’ve never seen Kamchatka nor have I seen the local flower shows. Mostly it’s a case of opportunity, planning and interest.

Sometimes I like to stay close to home and get to know my back yard and daily surroundings better. Other times I decide to venture somewhere completely unknown.

And how does this relate to the address list you ask?

Incowrimo has always been a platform for exploring and adventure. Nobody says where those letters are supposed to go.

It offers unlimited connections around the globe and doesn’t mind if you want to write your next door neighbour.

Deciding for yourself what you want to do is probably the hardest and most rewarding part of the project. Spending a bit of time coming up with a plan is the most valuable thing you can do.

The fact that it’s  -international-  correspondence writing month gives you incredible opportunity not to mention a great deal of scope. Decide who you want to write. Not by name, but who will make your list.

People with only the letter B in their name? People who live in countries with mountains or by the sea? Someone who lives in the same state or region or maybe someone who lives in a region like yours on the other side of the planet?

Maybe you’ll write someone who lives somewhere you can’t imagine no matter how hard you try. Write to someone living close to where your favourite characters come from. Somewhere you might want to live one day. There are a lot of possibilities.

After that, it’s only a matter of finding the right names and you’re off.

Help in searching for names comes with part 2 tomorrow.


  1. krpetersone says:

    Thanks for this! I am a little sad this year it is a plain list of addresses, last year it was nice to read little introductions from people, and seeing what they like and so on. Seemed a little more personal, as writing a letter is, indeed, personal. :)
    That’s just my two cents (pence). Still very happy to participate!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. thanks for the comment, it’s possible it was another site. we will definitely be putting this into consideration for next year. a very good idea.


  3. you might want to take a look at the comments section at the bottom of the join in page, or leave your intro on the comments page and see what happens.


  4. ceceG says:

    This is beautifully written, a lovely reminder about how and why to approach incowrimo, not just as 28 tasks to tic off the calendar, but as part of a journey. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marc Naples says:

    Should we only be using paper & envelopes or are postcards welcome as well?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another good question. It’s a matter of personal taste, but anything you can write on and properly address and mail is fair game (we don’t encourage wasting hard earned postage money so check before putting that coconut in the mail)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For sending postcards, Postcrossing is great. However, some of the postcards I received through Postcrossing had damage from the postal machinery.

    A while back, there was a study of sending non-paper things in the post and this was awarded an ignoble prize!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the heads up. many of the worlds postal services insist that mail must be paper. If it looks like it could be, it’s machine read which will result in damage. If it’s not, it’s put aside to be hand sorted. And well with all the cutbacks and such …


  9. jafferty says:

    I use a combination of mail – cards, postcards, stationery pages. Most written on, some typed. Did you hear about the John Mayer typewritten letter challenge?


  10. I’d like to use a random number generator to pick my people if possible. Is there a total number of participants listed anywhere?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We’re working on it, we might take time to grab a coffee before we get back to it, but will post the stats as soon as we can


  12. Ed Gilmore says:

    How do I get to the list of folk to write to?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. On the home page, as you move down, there is a section titled “all you need to know”. If you move over the middle picture, top row it will say ‘address book – 2018’ which will take you there.


  14. hertryk says:

    I try to make my letters as individual as me!! It’s very difficult in Western Australia to purchase beautiful stationery, so I order online. This year I was very disappointed. Paper I ordered from Italy just didn’t suit the fountain pen. This is my 2nd year and rose to the challenge with a day to spare. Love belonging to this group and igniting my love of hand written letters. So far I have received 6 and from 1 in the USA whom I wrote last year. The rest just chose me from the list.. Roll on 2019

    Liked by 1 person

  15. BLACKJACK says:

    HI, This is first year I’ve received any, now up to nine. The rest were from around the world.. I think it’s great.


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