Alright, alright!!

cos-mo-post-al-an [koz-muh-postal-en]: adjective/noun
1. a person
who belongs to all the world; not limited to just one part of the world; can make their home anywhere in the world.
2. a person who believes fully that postage stamps and mail connect the world, regardless of where, from or to, they go.
3. the joyful experience of knowing you're a local because your mail made it to its destination

The postage stamp is truly wonderful. It can travel the world, experience the lives of a million different people, go through the doors of strangers; and never once lose sight of where it's headed.
Welcome to the land of cosmopostalan : travel, mail and words. It's a crazy little place in my corner of the woods; wherever that may be!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


My apologies for the lag in posting! Whilst traveling it can sometimes become exceedingly difficult to get access to the Internet in certain locations, or one just runs out of time. Both have been the case since I last posted.
But, since then, I've travelled to Venice and Sestri Levante, Italy, as well as Florence, Italy. I am writing this from Rome, where we just arrived to three hours ago.
Before I get underway, here are some pictures from the past week--

Sestri Levante

Seaside shopping and eating in Sestri

The bigger of the two bays in Sestri


View from the Medici Family Gallery

My favourite breakfast--olives, sparkling water and pastries!

Extra Goodies

Mail to go to the lovely B., in America

Mail to go the lovely A., in Australia (with an E on the end because it's being sent from France)

The sticker adornment from the wrapping paper of two handmade Moleskine-esque journals bought in Sestri

One of my favourite things about traveling to new places undoubted is seeing the cities at night. I have a deep affection for the nighttime in any city, so it is especially wonderful to be able to experience all of these new cities at night during this trip.
Walking the streets of Venice and Sestri at night, I was struck by the sheer happening-ness of these Italian cities. The brightness of signs outside of gelaterias, the young couples kissing beneath the lamppost in the back alley ways, the young boys who grew into old men together and still meet up for an espresso on main street.
The city, any city, at night brings out the characters that hide out during the day, beneath different masks. It encourages the playful atmosphere that surrounds people, young and old, and hums the town along to the morning. It encompasses a culture like no other medium.
When I walked along the streets in Venice at night, there were no longer beggars and pleaders link g the streets. There were no longer young touristic families, or street performers, or loud cavalcades of foreign tour bus patrons.
Instead there was just the simplicity of a dark sky, and streets lining with whispering, cheering restaurants, with men and women and children grinning and shoveling the delicacies of Italy into their mouths. There was a cool breeze, as if the blanket of night no longer allowed for the steaming rays of sunshine to penetrate the visitors of the winding Venetian streets.
At night, faces became younger, wit became nimbler, wine scams heavier, cheese grew stronger. At night, the maze of Venice became harder to navigate, and this the game of navigating only increased in its wonder and excitement.
There is nothing like it.

Last night, after arriving in Rome, we ventured the streets again to spend time before our dinner reservation at 10.30 (more about THAT later).
Add the Colosseum to the "City-At-Night" mix, plus a dark sky and an almost full moon, and the excitement about nighttime only heightens. It was beautiful.

The Colosseum, at night.

Today we aim to head back to the Colosseum, to experience it during the daytime. I don't doubt that it will just as magnificent, thrilling and colossal today.

It's good to be back.
~ Ms. Always Traveling

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Writing from Venice, after a delicious meal just down the street!
No idea what we have planned tomorrow, but I shall try and blog sometime between now and then!

~ Ms. Always Traveling

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Today, we visited the Eiffel Tower and I took this photo. I'm pretty proud of that pic, to be honest! What do you think?
The outstanding hugeness of the Eiffel Tower made me feel even more tiny than the Arc de triomphe yesterday. It was tremendous! And awe inspiring! To think that bare hands built such a gem as that is uncanny.

I also saw many a pair of lovers in the gardens, and I couldn't help but smile at the many young families enjoying their charcuterie goods and fromages.

Tomorrow, we head to Italy. But first, we shall storm the streets  of Paris one more time.

Until then--
~ Ms. Always Traveling

Friday, July 20, 2012


Another day in Paris that was astoundingly busy!
After getting up much too late, we stormed the city in search of chocolate croissants, fresh air, and the Arc de Triomphe.
We found all three.

We began the day by visiting a beautiful church located just down the street from our apartment, the Church of Saint-Paul Saint-Louis. The massiveness of the church was very humbling. And I couldn't help but feel surrounded by an incomprehensible magnitude of rich history.

Our journey really started when we entered the gardens of the Louvre, captivating and lush as they were. Not to mention exceedingly vast. With immaculate cleanliness, plenty of tourists, and many, many guys trying to sell miniature Eiffel Towers, the Gardens of the Louvre provided one of today's highlights. The only downside, I would have to say, would be paying to use the loo. But other than that -- it was delightful!
After that, we walked down the long, winding street all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, stopping only at Paul's pastry shop to grab a well-deserved chocolate croissant.
By that time, the sun was just about to set.

We took the winding 284 steps to the top, saw the beauty of the Parisian skyline, and took the 284 steps back down to the ground. The sheer simplicity of the peachy oranges, bright yellows, and pastel-like pinks of the skyline powdered the many landmarks of Paris with an element of delicateness. Fabulous stuff.

Tomorrow, I aim to find a La Poste in the early morning so I can mail the few letters I have accumulated in my bag and send them on their way. Other than that, we shall also aim to head to the Eiffel Tower, and eat some delicious picnic goods on the grounds below it. It shall be beautiful!

Cigarette bowls--a staple on almost all of the cafe tables I have seen thus far in Paris.
Until then--
~ Ms. Always Traveling

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Complimentary Writing Desk

In this beautiful apartment sits an old-looking, possibly vintage desk that is perfect for writing and collecting of the various paraphenalias I love.
It is directly opposite the open balcony, and the soft breeze from the street cools the back of my neck when it gets just that little bit too warm.
I'm thinking this is the best complimentary item I've ever received at away-from-home-living-location (e.g. hotel/motel/apartment/hostel/etc.).
What do you think?


Write some lovely mail, spread international joy!
~ Ms. Always Traveling


Bonjour from Paris!

Wow, what an incredible feeling to be in a new country after such a long time away!

From the instant we arrived, nothing but courteous behaviour has erupted from every individual.
Currently, I write this from our apartment on Rue de Turenne, where a small market sits out front a cafe on one side, and a jazz band plays on the other. The street bustles with life, minimal tourists and the sweet, sweet scent of fresh pastries.


We arrived in Paris at 7.30am and have been running on our jetlag ever since. The sheer thrill of being here has provided me with more than enough energy to keep going. Thus far, we've visited two chateaux, a busy La Poste museum, a gorgeous cheese shop that literally stole my nose (I'm still searching for it! Haha), and the quaint downtown of many different parts of Paris and it's surrounding "suburbs".

I've already drunk one pot of tea, eaten two chocolate croissants, said 'Bonjour' incorrectly five times, and sorta-better fifteen, and loved every second of what this city has to offer.

I can't get over my sheer delight at the fact that as I sit on the balcony in our apartment, I can people-watch to the soundtrack of "a busy main street-cum-Parisian jazz band-cum-the clinking of those tiny water glasses".

I'm thrilled to be here.

Until then--
   ~ Ms. Always Traveling

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Today, Paris calls my name.
We shall be there in seventeen hours from this point now, which is uncannily hard to believe.
But I can't wait.

Guard your pastries, Parisians--I'm ready for 'em.

Until then, send more mail--
~ Ms. Always Traveling

Monday, July 16, 2012


Today is Monday which, since it is the holidays (or, 'vacation) doesn't mean a whole lot to me other than that mail starts back up again! I love having no agenda and no concept of what day it is, but mail days keep me on track!

Today had some very lovely incoming!
International from my dear friend El. in Australia, that was adorned with a lovely drawing.

Other than that, nothing else! I look forward to checking my mail one last time tomorrow before I head to Europe!

Speaking of which, I can't wait! I look forward to posting on here about all that I see, experience, taste; I look forward to writing mail from across the globe and adorning envelopes with Parisian, Spanish, Italian decorations.
And the stamps.
I can't wait to use the stamps!

These are the stamps that the lovely B. bought me earlier in the year.
I am looking forward to using the stamps that the lovely B. bought me earlier this year, and buying new stamps in Spain and Italy! I can't wait! I wonder what it'll be like in France and Italy, where I can not speak the language, to converse my wants and requirements for my mailart pieces... Haha! We shall only see!

But until then! I shall write my final letters and check my mailbox one last time!

Penpals--please note that while I am away, I may not be able to write to you. However, when I return I shall be sure to send your replies instantly! I will still be writing on this blog with my adventures, hopefully extremely frequently, but my mail may be a little slow this next month. Please pardon that.

Last UNITED STATES post tomorrow!
Until then--
       ~ Ms. Always Traveling

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm so extremely pumped with this new layout!

I've only got a few more things to figure out, and then it's set to go for Europe! I'm so excited!! I love the simplicity of the colours and the text on a white background--I feel like my previous layout might have been a little too busy!
What are your thoughts?

I'm also superbly excited because tomorrow is MONDAY which, as we all know, means...


I'll be sure to post all about it!
Until then--
     ~ Ms. Always Traveling
Pardon the current state of the blog as I play around with re-designing it so it is easier to the eye!
Should be done here soon!
~ Ms. Always Traveling


Alrighty; now we've got a fresh, clean slate to play around with! What're your thoughts?


Some outgoing mail to an outstanding woman--

 Made out of a NYC map...
 ...adorned with an Edith Piaf stamp...
...and a type-written address... my wonderful Grandmother!

~ Ms. Always Traveling

Europe Countdown

I'm finding it sort of hard to believe that I'm headed to Europe in less than a week. In fact, it's three days now until I'll be sitting in Paris. Wonderful stuff!
The thing is, I'm not familiar with a whole lot to do with Europe! I'll love some recommendations for things to do/see/experience in France, Italy and Spain!
And I look forward to blogging from each of those gorgeous locations!

~ Ms. Always Traveling

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Summer Bucket List IN THE FLESH

This summer, I aim to read quite a far few books. Thus far, I am halfway through The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and about to start on a classic--George Orwell's 1984.

About two weeks ago, I was at the local dump-and-take yard (where people leave their perfectly good belongings, and others take them--for free!) and was scouring through the book section in the hope that I would find any of the titles on my Summer Bucket List. Just as I was getting started, the supervisor came through and told me that it was closing time. So, as I went to leave, I stole one last glance at the bookshelves, and lo and behold--1984 was sitting right there!

Now, the book itself was not in great condition. The covers were both dilapidated and rubbed to a pulp, with see-through parts here and there. Tape held the spine together, and there were some obnoxious stains in random places.
But, I was determined that this was the book for me.

So today, I took it upon myself to give the book a little...clean up.

And here is what I came up with--

Using an old Starbucks bag that T. left behind--the kind of bag that is both recycled and durable, I created a sort of cover for the book, protecting its valuable assets!

 Above: FRONT cover, and Below: BACK cover.

I love how the bright greenness of the print is still visible, even though it is on the back. Having a smidge of it on the front teases the observer, making them want to check out the back (at least, it makes me want to do that!).

Then, I used the pages from a copy of the New York Times: Book Review [from July 1st] to cover the inside two pages. I love the irony of the 2012 books juxtaposed on a much older book, especially one titled 1984!
 Above: One of the themes of the NYT:BR was of the complacency of the American Dream. So, I decided to cut out one of the graphics from that article and stick it right on in there to continue the theme of "crowned women"!
Above: the title page, left intact.

Although the obnoxiously random stains still exist--

--and the pages are still looking a little dilapidated, the book definitely looks a little better to me!

Plus, now I'll be able to chuck it in my bag in Paris and won't be worried that it is gonna fall apart into a million, classic-literature-joy pieces!

Got to love book-redo's!
Now I'm off to read the thing!
What has your summer day held?
Send some mail--read some books--
        ~ Ms. Always Traveling

Friday, July 13, 2012

Some Incoming and Outgoing Joy

These past weeks...

Over these past two and a half weeks, T. and I were so busy traveling that I didn't have a whole lot of time to read or reply to mail. But, I spent this arvo* documenting and replying to all of my mail.
I received quite a wonderful lot these last two and a half weeks--

--from friends and penpals of all differing ages, countries and walks of life. I love that mail can keep me in touch with my dear friends, and those I've not yet had the chance to meet.

I also love that I can send them back a little envelope of joy--

The many letters and postcards that shall be leaving my mailbox tomorrow, and shall hopefully be greeted with smiles and eager penmanship!

A postcard to the lovely E., in the United States, who graced my mailbox with a postcard from St. Louis. Gotta love reciporacating!

To the lovely B., in the United States. I can't even begin to explain how excited I was to come up with this idea, because I LOVE the new Miles Davis stamps. Considering my recipient is a musician himself, I hope he will appreciate this! (Also, if anyone knows what that see-through envelope material is, or where I can get it, I would be much appreciative!)

To the lovely A., in Australia. I love being able to see the writing!

To my penpal S., in the United States. I love the fish image, so I had to include it on this envelope! Hopefully the fish//"Aloha!" stamp combination will be appreciated!

Using some lollipop-coloured stationary to send to my dear friends B., B., B., and B., in the United States. Love that Edith Piaf stamp!

I'm so excited to be up-to-date with my mail once again!

I'm also really excited to share the news that I have finally found the stamps I have been eagerly looking for! After drooling over the USA Philatelic magazine last month, I found in its pages some stamps that I loved. The "Pioneers of American Industrial Design (Forever)" pulled at my heartstrings from the first time I saw them. Unfortunately, by the time I got my act together, the local small-town post office didn't have any in stock. They had sold their only five copies of the panes.
So, in NYC, it was by pure luck that T. and I stumbled upon a huge post office in Chelsea that was near deserted. Although our postal employee wasn't too bubbly (and I'll forgive her--it was a hot day, and there were some rather vivacious people in front of us), when I saw in the display case that they still had the beautiful stamps in stock I about threw up. I asked her if she still had some in her cubical, and with a disgruntled and--quite frankly--bored look, she pulled out my new loves.
I would like to take this moment to share the little beauties with you--

(Not the best pictures, but bear with me!)

I have no clue how I am going to be able to let myself part with them. Here we go--I will document it especially each time I do, in a new segment called "How'd You Use That Stamp?!".

Until then, I look forward to lots of incoming mail!
And hope my recipients, as always, love to receive my letters as much as I love sending them!
Send more mail--and write more love;
         ~ Ms. Always Traveling

*arvo = afternoon (Aussie slang)
Traveling with T. must come to a brief hiatus today, as he is heading home to Oz. But I view it as only a small pause, a break, in our travels, as one can never truly be finished with traveling, can they?

A photo from our adventure in Rockport, Mass. last night. His final New England lobster experience for a little while.

T., I miss you already!

~ Ms. Always Traveling

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Back from New York City

Today is a beautiful day.

We returned from the wonderful New York City today, stumbling slowly through the "World Famous" Brimfield Antiques Fair in Brimfield, Mass. on our way home. After spending three days in New York, I am once again brought to the conclusion that you can never spend enough time in the Big Apple. It's brimming with so much life and culture, you'd think you were in a tub of yogurt.

Since we were showing around the lovely T., our travels in NYC this time mainly revolved around a lot of delicious shopping, meals and sightseeing-esque stuff. The city was buzzing, as usual, and we made the absolute most of it.

Some photos from the adventures:
 Hidden in the woods of the beautiful Berkshires...

 A delicious peach iceblock, and beetle inspiration at the Norman Lindsay Museum...

 Some mail sent from Western Massachusetts...

At a beautiful Italian restaurant in NYC...

Chess and plants--a beautiful combination--in NYC's Central Park...

Some of my favourites at the Brimfield Antique Show...

I love to travel. It's fabulous!
What has your summer held?

OH! And I've started on Henrietta Lacks! Quite an interesting piece so far..

~ Ms. Always Traveling