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Man visits Canada on mission to hand-deliver Galápagos postcards to strangers around the world

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VICTORIA, B.C. -

Jonny Beardmore has arrived in Canada from the other side of the world to meet someone he doesn’t know.

“I’m super excited,” Jonny says. “But I’m also nervous at the same time.”

Even more unusual? The stranger Jonny's meeting doesn't even know he's coming.

“Will they be receptive?” Jonny wonders, before laughing. “Or will I be run out of town with a shotgun?”

Johnny is only armed with a postcard, a map app on his phone, and his lucky charm.

“I always wear my lucky undies," Jonny laughs, pulling down the waistband of his shorts to reveal underwear with pictures of brightly coloured turtles on it. “My luck tortoise undies!”

You see, Jonny’s journey began after he met the iconic giant tortoise on the Galápagos Islands.

It’s where he also happened upon an old whisky barrel turned post box, where visitors have dropped off letters for centuries, so other people heading in the direction the mail is addressed can pick it up and deliver it.

“I thought, Wow!’” Jonny recalls with a smile. “‘There’s something in this.’”

So Jonny launched the Galápagos Postman Challenge, with the goal of hand-delivering 50 postcards from the postbox, to people living on seven continents.

“It’s about reconnecting with the world one letter at a time,” Johnny explains.

It’s about re-connecting with others in a way Jonny’s dad no longer could, after enduring ALS for the eight years before he recently died.

“He was inspirational,” Jonny says. “I just wanted to do something to honour his legacy.”

So Jonny is striving to raise $100,000 for ALS research by documenting his adventures on Instagram and tracking his route online which has included stops in Antarctica, South America, Central America and now North America.

While the 15 letters Jonny’s delivered so far have often been met with initial apprehension (“Who’s this weirdo from New Zealand?!”), the recipients are always left feeling appreciative.

“This is great!” Bob from Victoria said after Jonny delivered him a postcard from his daughter Monica. “It’s nice to meet you.”

And whether the interactions are brief, or last late into the night, Jonny says they’re all proving to be reminders of how meaningful it can be to connect with people, while you still can.

“Don’t do it over the internet,” Jonny suggests with smile. “Go and reconnect with someone you haven't spoken to in a while and do it in person.”

As the Galápagos Postman heads of to his next stops across Canada (in Winnipeg and Toronto) before heading to across the rest of the globe, he knows his dad would be proud.

“I think he would be laughing and having a beer,” Jonny smiles. “And saying, ‘Go for it, son!’”

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