Forget tacky refrigerator magnets and glittery snow globes. With tattoos as travel souvenirs, you will always have Paris with you.
Tattoos are meant to tell stories. And for somebody who finds immense joy in travelling, getting to take home something to always remind you of great memories from great places, is something us humans do to preserve happy times and the miles we’ve gone.
And unlike little trinkets and postcards from a gift shop in Sicily, getting tattoos to mark your travels make the whole experience much more intimate and memorable for you to take home. That way, wherever you are—whether you’re on the plane on the way to a new city or back home, sitting on your desk in the same old routine at work—you’ll always have something to look back on.
Staring at the map of China one afternoon at a coffee shop, a finance professional from Hong Kong, named Ron, just decided to get a tattoo of the map of the world on his back. Having already acquired a few tattoos of his own, Ron is no stranger to ink but this particular tattoo is quite different from his other tattoos. He wanted to world map to become a journal on his skin although he knows full well that he won't be able to fill it all out before he dies. “It's the best gift I can give myself,” he says.
Foreign tattoo artists are also good excuses to travel. It’s one of the reasons a motion sickness-laden girl like me would like to get out and see the world. All my favourite tattoo artists lives at least two thousand miles away from me and they rarely do guest spots anywhere near me, so I’d have to be the one packing my bags. When one is willing to travel to see a tattoo artist, you can be sure that the same artist doesn’t come cheap either. Which is why we should hold on on to our day jobs first, and keep that tattoo studio abroad in our dashboards.
In travelling, not only do you get to see a whole new place and cultural setting, you also get to meet lots of great people if you really keep your mind open. Your tattoo artist will be thrilled to know how far you’ve come to get a piece of their work and who knows, they just might invite you back someday.
The only risk with mixing travel and tattoos is when you mean to get tattoos on a whim. You can't just take tattoos in a stride because there are a lot of risks involved outside of the creative part of planning it. It's not very wise to just hit up any tattoo parlour hours before your flight or anything. Even when you're feeling spontaneous, don't risk the travels ahead of you, just because of some kind of a spur-of-the-moment-thing and a poor sense of judgement.
Atika Gupta, a communications professional from Delhi experienced one of those spur-of-the-moment-thing to get a tattoo during one of her travels. “I was in Mumbai on a work trip and had this intense need to get a second tattoo. Because like [what they say,] you can never stop [with] one tattoo.” After the impromptu session, Atika felt that her visit won't be complete without a subtle chin tattoo—to which the artist responded with surprise but obliged anyway.
“I was in a rush to make it to my flight and was the last person to board that day. Everyone was wondering whom the flight was waiting for,” she recalls. “It was only after I made it to my seat that I saw my tattooed chin for the first time.” Atika's only regret is was not insisting to make the dots on her chin tattoo bolder.
Tattoos are stories and what better way to document your travel than in ink to take with you for the rest of all your travels. Pick some cherry blossoms in Osaka, perhaps a slice of pizza in Naples, a sunset in Bali, or a the Northern Lights from Alberta.The possibilities are only as endless as you'd let the miles take you.
Go make some memories. Make it worth that plane ticket!
What are you waiting for? Quench your wanderlust and your scorching ink thirst.