In an episode of Doctor Who back in 2009 (the one with Zoe from Eastenders in it, so my sister might even have seen it), the deserts of Dubai were used as a stand-in for the alien Planet of the Dead. Little did I realise, however, that attempting to send post to the emirate would be just like attempting to send it to an alien planet. My first letter to my sister took bang-on three weeks to arrive, and there’s still no sign of the second one.
It’s a bit frustrating when one of the things I told myself I would do while she was away was send her regular letters. Sure, we have Whatsapp – oh yes, we certainly do have Whatsapp – and Facebook Messenger video calls work at least 50% of the time, but there’s nothing like a piece of post from home to help you feel really connected to somebody.
At least, that’s what I thought. But a recent survey by parcel delivery comparison website Parcel2Go.com found that over 50% of people preferred to use social media, email or Skype (Skype? clearly nobody they surveyed was attempting to contact Dubai…) to keep in touch with family overseas. I suppose it isn’t really surprising – I’ve been as guilty as anybody of opting out of posting birthday cards in favour of a just-as-heartfelt, but far lower effort, Facebook wall post or text. But only 7.6% of respondents to the same Parcel2Go survey said that they sent parcels to family overseas, and that’s something I don’t intend to stand for.
Determined to get people back into the way of sending handwritten letters, gifts and special tokens of affection overseas, Parcel2Go launched the “Sent With Love” campaign. They want to hear what special things you would send overseas, who to, and why. The idea is to share those little everyday things: a kid’s drawing, photographs, baby scans – but when they asked me to get involved I kind of took the piss.
There was a reason for it, though. MC had been sending me pictures of the lovely, but hotel-like flat that she has been allocated as part of her teaching job. Where she is staying is gorgeous – who among us wouldn’t want a swimming pool on the roof, and the weather to enjoy it? – but the fittings and fixtures are mahogany brown and very grand-looking, not a reflection of her personality at all. Recently, some of the girls took a late-night shopping trip to pick up some things to prettify their living spaces, but everything’s really expensive out there and she didn’t get the chance to take many photos from home with her. So the idea behind this parcel is here are a few things to make you think about home, and to make your new place feel a little bit like it too.
Parcel2Go lets you get instant quotes from, and compare prices and services for, all the leading delivery and courier companies. As long as you know the weight and size of what you are sending you can book online, print your shipping label and custom documents at home and then sit back and let the courier come to you. You can send within the UK (they have great bulk delivery tools if you’re in the habit of sending lots through eBay, for example) or to just about anywhere worldwide. And, best of all, you can insure and track your parcel, which will let me see whether in fact my mail to Dubai genuinely does go via outer space.
You may think I’m a big nerd for tracking this parcel daily on social media until it arrives, but you haven’t been privy to those Whatsapp conversations crying out for a piece of mail from home. In the meantime, tell me about who you’d send something to – with love, of course?
DISCLAIMER: Parcel2Go.com has paid for the delivery of this parcel, and will be tracking it as excitedly as we are until it reaches its destination. All words and opinions expressed are, as ever, mine. See my full disclosure policy.