Travel Porn

I Miss You. Here’s Proof. An Old-Fashioned, Modern Manifesto.

by Maggie Morris

Sand art. Photo: Maggie Morris.

The last time we heard from our friend, creative director and photographer Maggie Morris, she was extolling the virtues of the unplugged vacation. She's now turned her sights on another old-fashioned concept especially close to Fathom's heart: postcards. She has just launched the first edition of beautiful postcard notepads featuring 24 scenes capturing Venice, California. Here's why she did it.

VENICE, California – I love sending postcards. More than that, I love receiving them. Getting a little photo and short note in the mail is a moment of joy in what is usually a stack of bills and solicitations. Postcards are purely for the recipient; they require no reply whatsoever. And at a time when all communication is instant, digital, and often reactive, a handwritten note on the back of a picture is a treasure.

Like Twitter, it has a character and space limit. Like Instagram, it inherently says, "look at this place where I am that you are not" — though in a gentler, more personal way.

A postcard is proof in written form that someone was somewhere and thought of me. A postcard can be a physical memento because it took actual time and effort to mail in the world of digital keyboard afterthoughts.

There is something magical about dropping a piece of paper in a box in one part of the world and knowing a hand will carry it to where it is addressed, no matter how far away they may be. I realize this is a dying service and that I can't single-handedly save the post office by regularly corresponding with the friends in my unofficial postcard club. So I created a series of postcards to share what I like to do in a small way and to visually capture Venice, California, where I now live.

Taking the time to sit down and to write — with a pen — something to one specific person, find the mailing address, buy a stamp, and drop a card in a mail takes one away from the immediate expectations of the phone and the laptop.

When I came to Los Angeles three years ago, I arrived as a visitor from New York City with no intention of living here. The visual details of this new place so different from home were a thrill: the architecture, the surfers, the vintage cars, the constant sunshine, the palm trees. I photographed everything I saw daily.

At first this city felt like a vacation from my life. But days turned into months and then into years, and I realized I was not on vacation, but I was making a home in a new place. Here's the Venice where I live.

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