#SFATW Winter ’16 edition, a wrap-up

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening friends! How are you? I hope you’re doing great, and that your week was better than mine haha. Today I’m supposed to talk about travelling, and it’s the perfect excuse to talk a bit about my Souvenirs From Across The World feature.

In a couple of words, I created this feature last summer in order to bring book bloggers from all around the world closer and just bring this community that is very international closer together. This took the form of packages sent across the world, from the USA to the Netherlands, from France to Australia, and so on. If you want to know more about the feature, you can read all about it here.

The ’16 Winter edition of #SFATW

This winter, around 10 bloggers subscribed to send souvenirs. Only a couple of bloggers posted about it and sent me some of their feedback -thank you so much!-, which I’m going to share with you now, because fabulous gifts and books.

From France to Australia

I was paired up with one of the bloggers I love and admire the most, Reg @ She Latitude. I feel SO spoiled by all of the gifts she sent me, and SO happy by everything and the books. Going to Australia is one of my biggest dreams, and now…well, let’s say I have a map to go to Melbourne someday!


I sent Reg a book and a couple of things from my hometown, such as the typical little houses and an Eiffel Tower from not-my-hometown but you know, I couldn’t pass up the French clichΓ©.


From USA to The Netherlands

I am thrilled to introduce you to two of the craziest and best people here for this feature, Stephanie @ Teacher of YA and Anne @ Inked Brownies. Both went CRAZY with their packages and actually filmed their unboxing, which I LOVED watching. You can see it all in the videos below.

Read Anne’s blog post about her experience as well right here.

Read Stephanie’s blog post and her experience right here.

I am so thankful for your enthusiasm for this and the time it took you guys to put these videos together. I lived the unboxing with you and I loved it so much, THANK YOU.

What’s next for #SFATW

Souvenirs From Across The World is a feature I hold close to my heart and would want to continue, however for that I need your support and your participation, obviously. This takes time to set up and pair bloggers together and so on. I would love your feedback on this.

Souvenirs from across the world(3)

The main issue with this feature, let’s face it, and I got many feedback from this, is how expensive this whole gifts shipping is. I knew it before it started, and obviously I don’t want to make this some sort of bawling party where everyone is sad they can’t get gifts.

However, I’d still want to keep at the heart of the feature the fact that we are all from different places and cultures and how DIVERSE the book blogging community is. Don’t you think that it’s extraordinary how much we are, and despite the US being privileged at times, how INTERNATIONAL WE ARE? I do, and I love this, and I want to put two and two together and connect bloggers together. I’m NOT starting a dating website haha, just wanting to spread the love.

This is a beta idea, for so many reasons. In the actual feature, I let you choose whether you want to send something INTERNATIONALLY, or LOCALLY. But I want bloggers who aren’t able to ship internationally, or locally, to be able to participate.Β  I’m not sure how though, now, so it’s an idea that’s in the works.

Obviously I want this to be YOUR feature, this is why I’m back today asking for your thoughts and feedback about this.

What do you think about the idea overall ?

The souvenirs exchange takes place twice a year – next edition will be this summer, if I have enough participants. Do you think you’d participate ? Would you want to participate, but is shipping an issue for you ?

Would you be willing to promote this feature in any way (though your blog and social media for instance) ?

Thank you once again for listening and for your thoughts about this!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

37 thoughts on “#SFATW Winter ’16 edition, a wrap-up

  1. Aw, this seems super cool! I don’t think I’d ever be able to do it anytime soon, just for the fact that I’m in high school and have no money to actually go out and buy stuff, but this is definitely such a great and creative idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definately want to participate!
    Put me down for an international exchange, please!
    The expense is a bit of an issue, but whatever, I’ll get over it. Sorry I missed out on the winter exchange. I was busy back in the Fall. I enjoyed participating in the summer exchange last year.
    Good luck with this feature!
    ~Icky. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a cool idea, Marie!! I hadn’t heard about it before or I definitely would have participated!

    I think there are some ways you can do this without costing a lot for shipping. For example, a real basic level would be just sending paper things like bookmarks, postcards of your town and state/country, and maybe a button or magnet. Those things don’t weigh a lot so shipping wouldn’t be too much.

    For those who can’t afford even that, what about a virtual exchange? Sending pictures or videos or PDF files of things you’d like to share? A video of walking thru your town or of a hobby you really like. You’re still learning and experiencing a new place from someone else’s life but there’s no shipping involved at all.

    Me personally, I’d probably choose to do larger packages like Anne & Stephanie did because I like doing things like this for others. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Just a couple ideas. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much Valerie for your thoughts and TONS of ideas on this, it means so much to me!
      About sending papers, this actually happened already in the feature. I let people choose how much they wanted to send, it was from a postcard to the big packages you can see in that post πŸ™‚
      A virtual exchange is such a good idea, I need to write down your ideas about this, thank you so, so much! It makes me so happy to see you’re interested in this πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You already know that I really like the idea, even though the first time I took part wasn’t exactly ideal. (Who knows? Maybe it will show up years later like that autograph from James McAvoy?) I would definitely be sharing it on my social media account and on my blog. I don’t know how exactly you could make it easier to participate in. My post office informed me that postage will get more expensive again -.- I am so annoyed with that. I like the whole blog post part of SFATW though, where people get to share bookish/food/location-related takes on their country. That’s easy for everyone to do if they have the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much Kat. It still makes me sad it didn’t turn up, but yes who knows! It happened to me too, the package turned up months later, but it came anyway, so…there’s still hope? πŸ™‚
      Oh thank you, I’m glad you said that. The blog posts parts were fun to do, but I guess I felt a bit discouraged by it, because it took a bit of time and there wasn’t as many enthusiasm / participation as I hoped. I’ll have to think about it, but I do want people to be able to participate, even if they can’t send packages. I’ll have to think about it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Marie I’m so sorry I completely forgot to reply to your feedback email. I haven’t actually gotten around to posting an unboxing either because I’m going to include that in my January book haul but let me just say I had as much fun with SFATW this time as I did the first time I took part.
    I love the idea of SFATW and have ever since you first introduced it as a possible feature way back when. It would be great to see more people getting involved because you’re right it is a great way to connect to different bloggers and people all over the world but it’s also expensive to buy everything and then post it to another country. I think if you manage to come up with an idea on how to do that it would be a massive success.
    The unboxings so far look wonderful, I hope everyone enjoyed the gifts they got! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for understand, and I am definitely very excited to see where you go with this feature. It would be great if you could get more people involved, especially because I think money must be a drawback for some people.
        That’s all right! πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll definitely consider participating for the summer edition since I’ll have more time to venture and find some items and such. Shipping is always an issue, but if I manage to save enough I do want to consider doing the INTL exchange! (:

    -Jess @jbelkbooks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, I love how global and diverse the blogosphere is. And this feature was so fun to follow along even though I wasn’t a participant. I will definitely be joining in the next round if my wallet permits though.

    I’m not sure how you’re going to work out the international/local differentiation and shipping details… but maybe if it’s done locally (or even sometimes internationally) we could ship directly from stores, the sources of the times. Like the book(s) could be sent via Book Depository or Amazon. I know it’ll make keeping track of your pen pals gifts difficult since they’ll be in multiple packages… I don’t know. However, I hope it works out because I thought this season’s feature was a success overall! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much Summer! I’m glad to hear you like the feature πŸ™‚ I know, it’s such a struggle haha. I think people were glad to send and receive packages, but I oh so understand how money can be an issue, and shipping quickly gets expensive, even when it’s local. I’m hoping to find an idea to make this work somehow…but your idea is interesting, I need to keep that in mind! Thank you so much ❀


  8. I expressed before my love for SFATW and watching these videos made me so happy! To be honest, the international shipping is indeed very expensive in my country; that’s why I didn’t participate this time around. But I don’t regret participating for the first time, not even a little! I was super happy with everything that I got; I had never even received such a huge package on my name before, so that was definitely exciting! Plus, I can tell people that I have souvenirs from Malaysia, which is super cool! I really think you should continue on with the feature, Marie. I’ll probably support it nonetheless, hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you Lais, it makes me so happy you enjoy this feature so much ❀ I completely understand, it's one of my main issue with this – I'd love for more people to participate, but I understand how expensive shipping can be :/ I'll have to find another fun way to connect bloggers haha. Thank you so much ❀


  9. I honestly love the feature so much even though I haven’t been able to participate really at all lately! Its such a lovely feature with what it does, the idea for it and the intention and I love it for that! Shipping is definitely the main part as to why the whole thing is hard for me because I really do want to send something important and meaningful but shipping prices HURT. I’m really hoping to participate in the future ones if I ever do get the chance to do so!

    I was thinking about how people who can’t ship and I can’t think of anything yet but if anything does pop up, I’ll be sure to suggest it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really love the idea of #SFATW and enjoyed my experience with it last time. The cost of shipping is definitely a huge issue. And I had to send it twice too, because it didn’t get through the first time due to some special requirements at the customs that I didn’t know about. I didn’t join this time because I really had the money to do it. Hopefully I’ll be able to save up enough money in time to participate in the next one! Maybe one way of reducing shipping cost is to match participants by distance from each other?
    As for bloggers who can’t afford shipping, maybe pair them up with one another and have them recommend each other a book from/about their countries and talk about that book?
    In any case, I hope you continue doing this feature. I really love learning about other people’s country and culture πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jamie! Thank you so much for your thoughts about this. I completley understand your feelings about the shipping costs. I had an option on the previous SFATW editions where you could choose whether you wanted to send internationally, or locally.
      I think you kind of sparkled an idea there, Jamie, THANK YOU so much! This is so great. I really enjoy this feature, even if at the moment it’s hard to see where I want to go with it. But your support means so much to me, thank you!! ❀ ❀


  11. I will promote it, wear it on a t-shirt, shout it from street corners, hand out fliers, dance naked with a sandwich sign if it helps in any way. This NEEDS to continue. So the shipping was pricey. Oh well. I knew going in that this was a once in a lifetime experience. I miss Anne since she’s been ill, but I feel like I am super close to her now. And people could choose diff levels of activity! That’s the best part!
    I know Sammi wants to do it in the summer…I think maybe a month before sign-ups, we do a massive Twitter/social media campaign and just bombard the shit out of blogs! Do a blog tour sign up. Something.
    It needs to happen. It MUST. MWHOOHAHA! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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