Have you ever looked at someones travel tattoo and wondered what inspired them to get it?
From getting a Sak Yank, glow in the dark tattoo or cosmetic hair tattoos, there are endless options to choose from. People get inked for many different reasons, most commonly to honor a loved one, add to their identity, some even get tattoos as a fashion statement. (I even read about a guy getting sunglasses tattooed on his face)
Looking for travel tattoo inspiration and ideas?
We decided to get a tattoo as a travel souvenir in October 2017 during our trip to the Philippines. We joined bloggers around the world to share their Travel Tattoo Inspiration and ideas.
INTERESTING FACT: Did you know that the oldest tattoo dates back 3250 B.C found on Ötzi, the European Tyrolean Iceman who died and was buried beneath an Alpine glacier along the Austrian–Italian border. The tattoo is meant to be therapeutic rather than as decoration.
Lola from Miss Filatelista
Sak Yant blessing in Chiang Mai
I get many tattoos while traveling, 17 and counting actually! I’ve been inked in Spain and India, but my most memorable experiences was receiving a Sak Yant blessing in Chiang Mai, Thailand almost two years ago. Sak is the Thai word for tattoo in Lanna, the ancient script of northern Thailand, and yan is the Thai pronunciation of the Sanskirt word yantra which translates to a mystical diagram. The tattoos are used to heal, cure and overcome negative energy. The tattoo on my upper back is a triangular yantra with the first vertical line representing respect for Buddha, the second respect for the teachings of Buddha and the third respect for Buddhist monks. The horizontal line of Lanna script underneath represents the five faces of Buddha. You can learn about my Sak Yant blessing and about the traditional tattoo in a story I’ve published about my experience on my site, Miss Filatelista. In December I’ll go back to the magical city in northern Thailand to live for a few weeks and have arranged to receive another blessing from my Sak Yant master, Arjarn Daam!
Melanie from Travel Eat Write Repeat
Various Symbols in New Zealand, Argentina, Colombia, Ireland & Mexico
I have five tattoos that I that I had done when I was travelling. All the tattoos are the same colour and feature the same type of shading. The tattoos are all symbols that are considered sacred by the indigenous people of the countries. I got my tattoos in New Zealand, Argentina, Colombia, Ireland and Mexico. I get tattoos as permanent reminders of the wonderful places I have been and people that I meet around the world. However, I have been to over 40 countries so I only get tattoos in countries that have really left a lasting impression on me and when I can get them done by someone who has some sort of connection to the indigenous people. This isn’t me being all pretensions, it is just my way of making sure that the tattoos have deep personal meaning, otherwise I’d be covered head to toe in ink!
Elenore from Elenore Everywhere
Wanderlust in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
My travel tattoo was my first tattoo but not my last! I got it impulsively on a sweltering summer day in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. It was a tattoo I had been dreaming about for years but couldn’t muster up the courage to actually go get. I was nervous about the permanence of it, I was also 22 and a lot of people told me “you’ll grow out of your wanderlust phase”. Well, 7 years later and I still stand by my tattoo. I have the same curious feelings which draw me to travel and my restless feet have kept me wandering all over the world. If and when I “settle down”, I hope I still retain a sense of wanderlust in my life – of freedom and adventure, a childish excitement over things far away but also the joy in those close to home. And if I forget, I’ve always got a little reminder on my left forearm.
David from The Adventure Begins
World Map in Scotland
I got my world map tattoo while still living in Scotland but plan on adding to it whenever we visit somewhere new. I have always loved maps, countries, capitals and flags. I loved reading atlas’ as a child, major cool points! Growing older I still love these things, albeit more discreetly. I have been lucky enough to travel to many countries and have loved all the new experiences I have had. I thought having the map and then the countries I have travelled to in their native language would be a great way to remember, reflect and celebrate all the amazing places I have been to.
Vietnamese Lady in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I got my Vietnamese lady tattoo in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at Saigon Ink which was fantastic. I have been itching for a new tattoo for a while and saw one on Saigon ink’s Facebook feed of a lady on a motorbike. It stuck in my mind and I kept thinking about it over and over. When we first moved to HCMC, I found the traffic and motorbikes pretty scary but after 6 months we took the plunge and got ourselves a motorbike and took to the roads with zero motorbike experience. The first day nerves and bump into the back of a bus aside, I have loved every second of being on one. The buzz and adrenaline you feel being in the middle of utter chaos is so unique from anything else I’ve been a part of. Also, I have loved living in Vietnam. It is a wonderful country full of great people, food, sights and opportunities and whenever we leave, I will have nothing but fond memories of my time here. Living in a foreign country for over a year is a pretty big deal. Especially somewhere which is as big a culture shock as here – so I really wanted a memory of Vietnam. I have the motorbike because of reasons previously mentioned, the lady wearing traditional Vietnamese clothing (the non la hat and the Áo dài tunic) to show the Vietnamese culture. The background has Ben Thanh market, the oldest market in the Saigon, the Vietnamese flag (did I mention I love flags) – and some lanterns and power cables which are common sights in many streets across Vietnam.
Sara from The life of a Solivagant
World Map in Marshall Islands
I got my tattoo in the Marshall Islands. I move abroad a lot, having lived in 6 countries now, in 4 continents, and I have gotten at least one tattoo in each new place I have lived. I had wanted to get a world map with designs in it for awhile, but I wanted to make sure I had the right artist for what I wanted done. After getting my islander sleeve done (free-hand) by John, the only actual tattoo artist on island, I knew he was the right guy for the job. My sister drew the designs for each continent and he made it come to life. Getting a world map maybe be cheesy or cliché to some, but to me it represents my love of travel and experiencing life. Above the map I already had the word’s solivagant and wanderlust written on my shoulders, so the map worked perfectly under those words.
Read more about Sara’s travels on The Life Of A Solivagant or follow her on Facebook
Amy from Gypsy Mamas
Wave & Compass in California, USA
I got this wave and compass tattoo on a road trip through California (where I picked up a few new freckles in that glorious sunshine). The text reads “Blame it on my gypsy soul. Follow your heart and always come home.” My grandmother had just passed away, and she’d frequently blame her wistful sighs, wandering eyes and plane tickets on her gypsy soul. I smile every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror or in a picture. This tattoo makes me feel like I’m carrying a piece of my kind-hearted, adventure-loving, sassy grandmother along with me on my journey.
Leigh from Campfires & Concierges
Sak Yant at Wat Bang Phra, Bangkok
I was studying Buddhism at the same time I was planning a trip to Thailand. After two college tattoos, I always wanted more, but could never decide on a design. Then I read about Sak yant, which is a sacred tattoo you receive from a monk at Wat Bang Phra, a temple outside Bangkok. You don’t choose the design or the placement, the monk chooses it. Needless to say, it was a unique experience and I’m now protected from black magic, bad luck and unjust punishment!
Lisa & Liza from Soul Drifters Travel
Wanderlust in El Nido, Philippines
We got our first travel tattoo in October 2017 while visiting El Nido in the Philippines. We couldn’t think of a better tattoo than Wanderlust on the color bone as a permanent souvenir of our Philippines adventure.
Wanderlust – “An impulse, longing, or urge to wander or travel” Our tattoo artist Lloyd from Island Lyf Ink studio is excellent, he is polite, professional and his work is top notch.
If you a travel blogger and would like to have your tattoo added to Travel Tattoo Inspiration From Bloggers Around The World then send us an email to [email protected] and your tattoo could be featured here!
Photo by Marvin Meyer
Have you got a travel tattoo? Are you considering getting a tattoo on your next trip? Let us know in the comments below.
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