Ever since my travel song posting I’ve been thinking about the things in my life that remind me of my travels-gone-by. One of the first things that came to mind was my tattoo.
Oddly, my tattoo was ALMOST a tongue piercing. At the time, I was in Byron Bay, Australia and just 2 weeks away from returning home after a 1-year jaunt through a couple of countries. I figured the 2 weeks would be just enough time to heal and learn how to talk properly with the new mouth jewellery. I made arrangements with the owner of a local shop to meet me early on the morning I was supposed to leave town. It never happened. She was a no-show. I was disappointed but left it at that. It wasn’t meant to be. Looking back, I don’t know why I thought a tongue piercing was a good memento of my travels at the time. There’s nothing particularly Aussie about a hole in my tongue.
A few years later I had a strong urge for a tattoo. I wanted something that would represent my desire to travel and remind me of my favourite destinations and experiences. I thought of a number of ideas but my mind kept coming back to one thing – a sun. I also wanted to draw the tattoo design myself and a sun was doable.
With my drawing in hand, I headed to a reputable tattoo parlour. The tattoo artist wasn’t overly impressed with my simplistic design. He was hoping for something MUCH cooler and more complicated. When I told him I wanted the tattoo to be burgundy and terracotta in colour he was even more unimpressed. He pulled out brown and red ink and looked at me. I tried to explain that “the earthy tones of burgundy and terracotta remind me of Australia, my first solo travel destination”. I could see this did NOTHING to win him over but I wasn’t budging either so eventually he started mixing colours. I’ve never regretted my decision to get my tattoo. Sure, when I was pregnant and my little round sun became more like a giant sunset stretched across my stomach I did question my choice of ‘location’, but my tattoo makes me happy. It reminds me of the colours of Australia’s outback, of all the sunny days I’ve spent exploring new places and of all the sunrises and sunsets I’ve watched around the world.
When I’m with my children at a pool or on a beach I notice the people looking at my tattoo and I know that while some may be admiring it, others may be judging. It doesn’t bother me. The tattoo is for me and it represents the part of me that loves to travel, explore and meet new people.
Maybe I’ll get a new one to remind me of my current travels.
Do you have a souvenir tattoo?