I’ll never forget the day I realized that travel was so much more than getting a stamp in a passport.

I was sitting in class on my first day of studying abroad in Coimbra, Portugal. I was part of a special program for foreign students learning Portuguese language and culture, and my fellow students and I were asked to introduce ourselves.

As if we were the United Nations, each student proceeded to stand up and talk a little bit about where they were from – Holland, Japan, Germany, Latvia, China, the USA.

It was in that moment that I realized that my year abroad was going to be about so much more than just Portugal. It was going to be my first true introduction to the world.

It you’ve ever had an experience like this, you’ll know that travel isn’t always easy, or simple. We are forced to come to terms with our own beliefs and our preconceptions, while physically being faced with another way to live.

We realize how many other people there are in the world who have been raised in completely different ways than we have.

In that way, travel teaches us not just tolerance, but acceptance of others. And it is my true belief that those things are what contribute to a more peaceful world.

Friday, September 21st is the UN’s International Day of Peace. And this year, we’re doing something special for it.

Announcing the Peace Postcard Project

We’re teaming up with Hostelling International to bring you the Peace Postcard Project, where travelers in 30+ participating hostels around the world will be gathering to share how travel has transformed them while sending postcards en masse to the UN to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

We’re excited to be joining HI Boston for this very special event on Friday evening, and you’ll even see how things are going live on our Instagram account starting at 7pm ET. Plus, we want you to be involved, too.

Here’s how you can be involved

  • Attend a Peace Postcard Party at a HI hostel on September 21.
  • Visit MyPostcard.com from anywhere in the world and have a postcard with a personal message sent to the UN at no cost.
  • Get on Twitter and tag @UN and @sheswanderful with #PeacePostcard (Plus, join us for a Twitter chat on September 27, World Tourism Day, at 1pm ET.)

We’re expecting about 10,000 pieces of mail to be sent to the UN from across the globe – and we can’t wait for you to share your words.