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24 Postcards

Johanna Hörrmann

Twenty-four days, twenty-four postcards. A documentation on the road.

This is an adventure.

On March 28, 2014 I will embark on a journey. I’ll say good-bye to my husband and son in Braunschweig, Germany, step on a train to Marburg, meet up with my mother, catch a train to Frankfurt, board an airplane to Toronto, greet my sister, board a plane to Chicago together with both of my ladies two days later, cross the border to the U.S. for the first time in my life, get on yet another plane and land in Los Angeles, California.

Each day, for 24 days, I will write a postcard and send it off to someone special.

Here’s why.

This is my family history.

My mother grew up in Covina, just east of L.A. She came to Germany as a student, went back home for a year during her studies and returned to Germany for good in 1972. My grandparents and one of my aunts moved to Ontario, Canada shortly after, and that’s where my English speakin’ home base has been ever since.

California. I’m at peace with our German weather when I step out of the cold stairway in the middle of the summer, open the front door and am finally met with heat on my skin. I am told I sound like MTV by English folks. I love ice cream, year round. My spelling was corrected in English class at school. I introduced my friends to tacos and tortillas, corn on the cob and avocados. I get a strange feeling of home-sickness looking at pictures taken by total strangers, overlooking the city from one of the trails. I find it utterly unbelievable that other people have actually been there, when I have not.

It’s my Californian blood!, I happily exclaim whenever the chance arises.

I remember writing in one of my first journals: Next year we’ll fly to California. I was six. Now I’m thirty. That makes 24 years of dreaming, scheming and planning this trip – talk about build-up! Now, it is happening, and I am beyond excited to live this adventure.

This is an experiment.

Here’s my plan. It’s pretty simple:

Find a penpal for each day from March 28 to April 21. Write a postcard every day while I’m away from home. Take a photo of the front, and a photo of the back. Mail the card and share the photos on instagram to document my travel documentation.

This is about writing. Sharing. Celebrating. Connecting. Experimenting. Daring. Reaching out. Penpals. Offline blogging. Analogue blogging. Exploring. Creating. Sending. Lettering. Addressing. Storytelling. Documenting. Letting go. Surprising. Souvenirs. Tangible memories.

Hop on.

I am truly looking forward to this journey, and I’d love to take you along for the ride. Follow me on Instagram to read the postcards and peek into my life on the road.

You are a local or have sightseeing tips you’d like to share? Send me an e-mail to get in touch, I’d be delighted to hear from you!

Thank you.

Lisa and Ma – this adventure could not be happening without you. Thank you so very much for taking me along!

Pa – thank you for more than three cases of slides from California along with meticulous notations. What an incredible treasure.

Nils and Max – I love you guys. Thank you for keeping up the good work at home. You know I’m travelling for the three of us, really.

This exposé was originally published on a dedicated project microsite. You can find all 24 postcards on Instagram.