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Meet the Man Who Collected 1,200 Messages in Bottles

Meet the Man Who Collected 1,200 Messages in Bottles

Leaving a message in a bottle may be one of the most unlikely ways to make a human connection. But for one man in the Netherlands, his love for collecting those messages has allowed him to reach out to people from all over the world. Great Big Story recently put its spotlight on Wim Kruiswijk, a Dutch beachcomber who has amassed a staggering 1,200 messages in bottles over the last 34 years.

As strange as it may sound, Kruiswijk’s hobby has given him a purpose in life. Within the video, Kruiswijk recalls finding his first three messages in 1983. He took the time to contact the three authors, and all three of them responded to his letters. From there, he devoted himself to his new passion. “I have all the time in the world,” says Kruiswijk in the clip. “And instead of talking with other old people, I love to walk on the beach and see the surprises.”

Kruiswijk notes in the video that he doesn’t always find new messages, and that it can be weeks or even months between making new discoveries. The video also offers up a glimpse of his collection of messages and the bottles that they came in. Kruiswijk seemed particularly happy when examining the first message he received from a German girl in 1983. It’s also striking that Kruiswijk appears to prefer using a typewriter for his letters as opposed to a computer.

In 2010, Kruiswijk released a book about his experiences with the messages as well as his correspondence with their senders. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an English language edition of Kruiswijk’s book, but it’s still very fascinating to see and hear about the lives that he’s touched through this endeavor.

What do you think about this video? Before leaving a message in a bottle, drop us a comment below!

Images: Great Big Story

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