Finders Luck – Ninth Find!

If you’ve been following my blog & have read posts ‘Six hens & a postcard find’ and ‘Ciara’s story’ you’ll already know how Mum Tina found an InspiredTravels71 postcard while on her friend Katie’s Hen do. She then went on to hide a couple of postcards with daughter Ciara in Hastings where they live.

Last night I got that buzz for the ninth time, when I opened my email to read that I had another new finder!

Candy had been visiting friends in Hastings for the weekend and of course had to pay a visit to the beach. Whilst there she stumbled across the postcard that Tina & Ciara had hidden there earlier.

Intrigued & touched by the message she read, she put it in her bag intending to respond later. Fast forward 1year & on her day off, Candy rediscovered the postcard & decided it was time to respond.

Candy has had lots of great trips, her favourite travel stories are as follows: ‘My favourite trip was to cuba, i went to havana for 4 days then on to the beach in varadero after to relax. Havana was beautiful, colonial, dirty, vibrant and amazing place to be. My friend and i were invited in to random peoples houses for chicken rice and peas- their main meal in cuba and it was a surreal experience. We went dancing at outdoor parties with locals in the hot night air. There were classic cars and music playing and locals all sitting outside their front doors watching the world go by in the city. You may have been, but if not i totally recommend it!

I have just come back from marrakech in morocco, that was quite an experience, the main town is full of people selling anything they can from spices and beauty products and leather goods to scales to tell you your weight and snake charming and monkeys wearing sunglasses. Mopeds speed past you on the tinyest  of streets and even through the more indoor markets! At night it really came to life in the main square and was quite chaotic! I had to cover up all the time with shawls but still at night i received quite a bit of unwanted male attention, so you do have to be careful, especially at night.

The most beautiful place to me would be venice   In italy with all the canals and bridges, people say it gets quite smelly there, but i didnt think so. Defo one to go see tho! Amazing churches and museums and palaces and gondola ride is pricey but a must! -you can take your own bottle of prosecco on board if you wish!

Last but not least tropea in calabria italy has my favourite beach overlooked by a monestry. The town itself is bustling in summer and dead in winter but really rustic and beautiful with little streets to get lost in and amazing views to be seen and gelato and pizza to be eaten.‘

Wow! Some great recommendations there!

So the moral of this story is, if you’ve hidden postcards in the past for me don’t give up hope. As I’ve said to many people the really could turn up when you least expect it.

Thank you Candy for getting in touch & sharing your wonderful travel stories with Mum, the blog readers & I. Thank you also to Tina & Ciara for their hide.

This project wouldn’t work without your support & participation. A very grateful Sarah & Anne xx

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Finder number 2!!

Yippee!!  I have myself a second finder!

Following Inspiredtravels71‘s appeal for help at Christmas (more details here), I received lots of generous donations of postcards from friends & family far & wide.

One cold, dark December evening, I returned home from work to find a bulky brown envelope with my name on it laying on the doormat. I eagerly ripped open the envelope & found this …

 A collection of 70+ postcards from Mum & my friend Carole, who we knew through craft classes we all attended some 25+ years ago.  They are pictures taken by Datford Photographic Club & collected from the Ellenor Hospice annual calendars & BBC Homes & Antiques magazines. 

When looking through the collection that Carole had donated, one card jumped out at me & took my attention.  I instantly knew where this card had to be hidden.  It was a picture of a Southeastern train travelling through the pretty Kent countryside & a local viaduct.

 Using their services to commute to & from work each day, I instantly knew that I had to hide that card on one of their trains.  I wrote the card out & carried it in my bag for a few days waiting for a trip where my carriage was quiet enough for me to hide the card.

On Friday 12th Feb 2016 on my train journey from Cannon Street I struck gold.  There were only 2 other commuters in my carriage, both engrossed in their own worlds, so as I stood to get off the train, I hid my card.

    The following morning, there was an email in my inbox entitled travels, asking for more information about the project.  After confirming that the find was genuine I sent more information about Inspiredtravels71 and asked Bob (Finder No.2) for more information.  I’m delighted to have a second Finder but particularly as this card was one of my own hides, & found so quickly. I’m waiting to hear back from Bob, I’ll update this post if & when I do.

So it’s true, you really can hide them snywhere and get results, even in clear view! Any wannabe hiders out there? You know you want to!

Who will be Finder No.3?  Come on ladies it must be your turn next!

I’ve got a finder!!!

Yes, It’s really true and very exciting…

On Thurs 5th November at 4pm whilst sitting at my desk in the office, I noticed the e mail I’d been patiently waiting for in my Inspiredtravels71 inbox. It was entitled ‘Postcard in Lille’. My tummy did a little flip, while I tried to contain myself, I doubt my colleagues many who know nothing of this project would appreciate me whooping and jumping for joy!

I quickly opened the email, from Pierre who’d found the card hidden by my friend Sandra in the book L’Art Nouveau in her hotel in Lille in October. Pierre was a man of a few words but those few words were very important, to me at least.  He confirmed the location of the card that he’d found which enabled me to verify to my list of hide locations that it was a genuine find. Pierre also congratulated my on my funny initiative.  I’ve emailed Pierre for more information and wait to see if he replies, but given recent tragic events in France I understand that he has more pressing matters on his mind for now. I hope he and his family remain safe & well.  Thank you Pierre, you really did make my day ❣

I wonder who my next finder will be???

Getting brave and going public…

When I first came up with the idea for my Inspiredtravels71 project in March 2015 I was on a touring holiday around the Province of Barcelona in Spain. I was so moved by the book I’d just read 60 Postcards, that I kept talking to the tour rep Maureen & several other travellers about the book and my idea for a project. They probably thought I was a bit crackers, but listened intently to my ramblings and made encouraging comments & suggestions.

On returning from that trip I continued my mission solo. Until June this year, that is, when I was on a trip in Norwich. I’d decided that on my last day there I would hide a card somewhere in their famous store Jarrolds.

Jarrolds in Norwich,
Photo credit: pbase.com

When it came to lunchtime a friend, Anna asked to come for a walk with me, so off we set. I thought I’d better warn her what I was going to do in case she thought I was acting strangely and misbehaving.

I explained the project & why I was doing it and she was excited by the idea. We lost each other in the store so when we caught up later that day, I filled Anna in on where I’d hidden the card and more about how I saw the project work. She loved the idea and said if I wanted to she could take a card back to Poland for me and hide it somewhere there. I was thrilled at her offer of help and prepared a card for her to take that evening.

A month or so later we caught up by email and Anna filled me in on the location of the card  she’d hidden (somewhere in the shopping mall pictured below. I’ll say no more!) and told me that she’d been back to see if the card was still there. She’d got the bug too!

The shopping mall in Poland where a card is hidden…somewhere!
Photo credit: Malls.com

Anna’s reaction to my project gave me the courage to speak to others about what I was doing. The responses I’ve had have all been extremely positive, with offers of help from friends and even people I don’t know.  If you’re interested in hearing more or want to know how you too can get involved please contact me.

Still no finders yet, but I continue to wait patiently.the adventure continues.

 

How it all began…

In April 2015 whilst on Holiday in Santa Susanna, Spain I finished reading the book ‘60 Postcards‘. If you’ve not read it do, but be warned you will need a tissue in parts as it is a tearjerker but inspirational at the same time. Before reading the book you are told to buy a blank postcard and you’ll find out why later in the book.

My mum had a major stroke in October 2007 just a week after the family all returned from a holiday of a life time in Orlando, Florida. The stroke left Mum partially sighted and unable to use the left side of her body. We are extremely grateful that she survived it, but both her and the families lives changed in unimaginable ways that day.

Mum often says that she would like to get on a plane and visit places where favourite memories were made. Unfortunately that is impossible due to the severity of her disability.

So with my postcard I decided to start this project inspiredtravels71.

My first postcard was purchased in Barcelona my favourite city. I wrote a message explaining Mum’s situation and asking the finder to e mail me with details of their favourite place to visit so I could use this as inspiration for future trips to take and then tell Mum about. I decided if she couldn’t travel herself, I was going to help her to in her mind by sharing stories of my trips with her. So inspiredtravels71 was born.

 To date I’ve hidden 11 postcards in various countries & locations. As the project progresses I’m getting braver and starting to talk to people about it.

Responses have been great from offers of hiding a card for me, to collecting cards on their travels, for me to then hide too. The encouragement and reception I’ve had to the project so far is overwhelming.

Although I’ve not had a response from a finder yet, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. It’s exciting to see where the adventure will lead me.