Show Off your Travel Tattoos !!!

Show Off your Travel Tattoos !!!

People travel, people collect mementos around the world, then there are a few who etch their memories on their body and remain attached to it for Life. For every traveler, each trip they take is a special memory but some trips and experiences sink in too much that you feel the need to have that memory preserved forever. So what are you gonna do? How about getting that awesome trip inked? Or just a tattoo which shows your desire to travel the world, something to inspire you everyday to push yourself forward with your dream. This thought gave me the idea to come up with this Collaboration : Show off your Travel Tattoos.

Every single tattoo has a story attached to it. Few bloggers shared their tattoos and the wonderful stories attached to them. Please take a look…


Dante Harker (DanteHarker)

I never thought I would have a tattoo. I was brought up with the idea that tattoos were only for commoners and those of limited intellect (not my words, pushy parents). Yet as a severe wanderlust sufferer, an infliction that often comes with a number of tattoos and a qualified diving instructor, it always struck me as madness that I didn’t have any body art. With all this in mind it took me until I was rushing 40 before I could finally decide on what one, and I believe only, tattoo I should have. It had to be original, it had to say something and I really wanted people to have to look twice at it – yes, I am this pretentious. What I decided on was a piece of native art in the form of a Killer Whale. I love these creatures and I love native art, so you know, perfect fit. What I didn’t know is that MY body decided that it didn’t like tattoo ink and it took 21 hours to get the piece finished. That was three lots of 7 hours with me mostly crying like a baby. Now it’s done, I love it! I have to say that I’d like a city scape on my foot, but I can’t decide on the city – let’s hope that doesn’t take me another 40 years.


Gemma (Two Scots Abroad)

Neither Craig or I are shy of a tattoo or two, Craig’s sleeve is actually a great conversation starter (and if there is a language barrier like in Vietnam, the locals just grab him!) and also deterrent from the catcalling addressed at me in Central America. However, neither of us had work done abroad so when we heard that there was a British expat tattooist living not far from us in Nicaragua we decided to swing by and see his work. After a quick chat about designs we signed up for Craig’s sleeve to be extended to his hand and a Canadian landscape print on my right arm. I’d spotted an image of a deer in Banff, Canada on Instagram months back and had been thinking about it ever since. Craig and I were due to elope in Austin the next month and I wanted to be a (more) tattooed bride so it was perfect timing. The price didn’t impact on our dwindling budget either!


Danielle Ditzian (Like Riding a Bicycle)

Though I have many tattoos, my favorite travel related tattoo is the mushroom on my calf. After spending the most magical Christmas in Laos with an assortment of people from around planet earth, we decided to commemorate the day with tattoos. We all got mushrooms and varied them slightly for each person to suit our personalities. Since then, some of us have already reunited, and I can’t wait to see the rest in some random corner of the earth once more!


Hannah & Adam (Getting Stamped)

I’ve been traveling the world nonstop since 2013 and have spent over a year exploring Thailand. Thailand keeps drawing me back, I’ve been wanting to get a travel tattoo for years. When I heard I could get a Sak Yant tattoo in Chiang Mai I was sold. A Sak Yant tattoo is a magical tattoo that is done by a monk in a temple with steel rod. Each tattoo is said to be blessed and have magic. You meet with the monk, tell him about your life and what areas you would like blessed. The monk then chooses a tattoo for your and where it should be on their body. Sak Yant tattoos are hand drawn, there is no outline the monk follows. I am in love with my Sak Yant.


Heather Halpern (The Urban Gypsy)

Having already been inked several times with a present day tattoo gun, while traveling through South East Asia I jumped at the chance to be traditionally tattooed by a former Thai monk. I didn’t get a traditional Sak yant design, but instead chose the word ‘family’ written in Thai along with a peacock feather that was tattooed with a gun. You might think that the traditional ways of dipping a bamboo stick into ink and then tapping it repeatedly into the skin may be excruciatingly painful, but on the contrary I can say without a doubt that it was far less painful than the gun and it healed without any scabbing unlike any other tattoo I have ever received. Read more about this here.


Aiden (Freeborn Aiden)

I have never accepted the idea that tattoos tell stories or have a particular meaning; I can interpret my own in any number of different ways depending on what mood I am in. What they do however, is forever etch a particular time and place onto your skin, and into your psyche, forever. The mandala tattoo on my right hand will forever remind me of India and the feeling of absolute freedom I had. It was my first trip working as a travel blogger and I had left home that spring with no savings, just making enough money to keep on moving town to town by writing online. I got the tattoo on my right hand for one reason, because in the UK hand tattoos are still somewhat controversial and by having one I would struggle to return to a normal, secure soulless job ever again. This meant that no matter how tight things got, I would have no choice but to keep on working for myself and to keep on writing. The tattoo was therefore both a deliberate effort to scupper my attempts at ever returning to a normal life and also a celebratory act remembering the defiant freedom I had found by sticking it to the man, hitting the road with no money and doing things my own way.


Sarah McAlister (The Whole World or Nothing)

The idea for my paper crane tattoo first came to me when I was travelling in Japan where it has a deep rooted history. It’s such a simple design but there is such a powerful meaning behind it. The paper crane is a symbol of peace and strength and happiness which are all very important to me. It is placed on my wrist as a reminder to me in tough times of how important my freedom is to me, which is one of the main reasons that I travel full time and live a location independent lifestyle.


If you are not a tattoo person, I can totally understand. But if you are, then it is better to have a tattoo which suits and fits into your lifestyle. Getting a tattoo is not an easy decision. You will think and rethink your designs. You will consult many people. But You should get it done only if you really want it, not because other people think it is cool.

Thanks a lot guys for sending in your wonderful tattoo stories.

Also published in Medium


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102 thoughts on “Show Off your Travel Tattoos !!!

  1. What a wonderful post, I met many people with tattoo of some special destination! Anyway I really like some tattoo you mentioned above like those of Getting Stamped (One of my favourite bloggers) and that one of Freeborn Aiden! Thanks for sharing it, 😀

  2. I had same “issue” with my parents agreeing of me getting a tattoo. But now i think i’m big enough, coming closer to 30 hehe so maybe it’s time. I think of an american native every time i see a tattoo i don’t know why. I’ve visited 65 countries, maybe i’ll get also a “mushroom ” tattoo even if i think i’ll go for something smaller.

  3. Nice- there are some really cool stories behind some of these. I’ve been considering getting a travel tattoo to celebrate three years on the road but I can’t decide what I should get.

  4. Intersting post and some great designs. I have couple although not related to travel but other experiences. As you mention, before having anything done, especially in a prominent position, make sure you really want it.

  5. I really love the idea of getting a tattoo as a reminder/souvenir from travels. I have super sensitive skin though, so am a bit apprehensive to get one myself, but would love a Sak Yant tattoo or an ever-evolving tattoo with symbols or images from each memorable place. After seeing all of these examples, I’m inspired!

  6. Great collection of tats – my next one will be an old style compass in UV ink on the inside of my wrist. (I’m a lawyer so I can’t have visible tats hence the UV ink)

  7. Awesome post!! i have a travel tattoo in my wrist 🙂 A world map… its my passion in my hand… Lovely post , thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  8. This is a great idea for a post. I love reading about the stories behind the tattoos. I’ve got three myself and people always ask the backstories.

  9. Awesome idea for a post! I know lots of people who get tattoos while on their travels – especially New Zealanders getting a Silver Fern while abroad! I could never get a tattoo because I always change my mind about what I like. If I got a tattoo every time I had planned to, I would have a lighthouse on my back, writing down my arm and down my ribs, my initials on my wrist, a stick figure drawing and probably a few other things around my ankles.

  10. I really love the tattoo on the right hand side of Danielle Ditzian. And I also made a tattoo on my ankle when I was 16, but I don’t feel it anymore. I want to remove it.

  11. Interesting idea for the collaboration post. I’m guessing you had a lot of entries and must have had a difficult time selecting the ones to keep…considering that tattoos are so popular these days.

  12. These are all gorgeous and I love the stories behind them. I have two tattoos myself, and would love to get one while traveling. So far, I’ve gotten them locally. Ex-uni colleague of mine is a talented artists and she’s responsible for mine.

  13. Beautiful artwork, and a nice way to bring travel souvenirs with you all your life.

    But I prefer other ways to capture momentos ☺

  14. What a great idea for a travel article! Tattoos are so personal and the stories behind them make a beautiful read. I have never got a tattoo …yet 😉

  15. This will be as close as I get to a tattoo – not a fan. You should have included Nic from the Roaming REnegades. She has some pretty full on tatts.

  16. Some of are definitely works of art, not like the old days. Interesting people are getting travel tattoos, never really thought about that. A different take on a post for sure. Next time, I’ll strike up a conversation about one with another traveler.

  17. I don’t think I’ll get a tattoo for personal reasons, though it may change later on. But I do like to admire tattoos and body art on others, especially from different cultures. I like asking about the meanings and stories behind them and some stories are truly powerful and inspiring.

  18. Hey Gokul, this post is great, as it’s always good to see something different. I don’t have any tattoo, but if I had to do any, I would definitely let one of those monks to do a Sak Yant tattoo. At least, it would have some spiritual meaning!

  19. Some fabulous tattoos here! I read the post Hannah and Adam put up on getting their Sak Yant tattoo in Thailand – I think I would probably go for something cultural like this if I was to get another tattoo 🙂

  20. I’m now more intrigue than ever before about getting a tattoo on the road but it has taken me a while to decide on what exactly. Fun post and like the variety from different people.

  21. These are some great tattoos over here!I think this such an interesting idea to have a memory of your trips inked on your body. Yes tattoos have emerged from the dark to command their own place under the sun.

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