Postcard Map Takes a Tour of Iceland

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Some of us are born with a superb sense of direction. This sense could be remembering detailed street names and cardinal directions or landmarks like the Dairy Queen or the boulder that looks like Ashton Kutcher. In Iceland, it doesn’t matter which sense of direction you are born with. If you are blessed with the latter, there is still a way you can deliver something to the desired location without an address.

Three tourists drew a map on an envelope of a postcard to be delivered to a remote farm in western Iceland. The map did not include an address or name like most postage needs to be delivered to the location. The envelope only described who lived at the destination and gave a description of the destination.

The postcard was successfully but surprisingly delivered to the farm in the Iceland’s Dalabyggð region. It was sent from Reykjavik by the tourists who had been to Holar farm before but didn’t remember the address.

The owner of the farm, Rebecca Cathrine Kaadu Ostenfeld, posted a photo of the envelope that arrived at her farm on Facebook which went viral.

Apparently, the map address works internationally. An individual in Russia saw the viral post online and sent a letter the same way the first envelope was delivered to the Holar Farm last month with the map which described the farm as “a horse farm with an Icelandic/Danish couple and 3 kids and a lot of sheep!”

A British startup company is trying to eliminate street addresses around the world for three-word phrases, according to Quartz. The phases break down every corner of the world into nine-square-meter blocks. The system seems to be gaining popularity; Mongolia adopted the system in June, and Rio de Janeiro used the system to help visitors during the Olympics this year.

If street addresses are completely eliminated, maybe there is hope for those of us who use bent stop signs and restaurants as landmarks to get from point A to point B.

Lauren Spiler is a freelance journalist based in Athens, Georgia, but most call her Spiler.