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Travel tattoos are something that is trendy and fashionable nowadays.
Expressing your passion for travel and adventure in a form of cool tattoos designs are something that people with wanderlust souls would go for!
I grew up in a household in the Philippines where my dad always preaching to me not to get a tattoo because I will look like a gangster! Oh well, sorry Papcy! This time I’m going for it!
I have always wanted to get cool unique tattoos designs. So to inspire me to push myself to finally getting one pretty soon I asked my fellow travel bloggers on their unique tattoos for some cool travel tattoos ideas.
Safety first! Having a tattoo is a lifetime commitment, so make sure that you are very specific about what you want. Most importantly get your tattoos on licensed tattoo artists that practice good safety measures.
Kristine of Be My Travel Muse
My Sak Yant tattoo remains one of the most incredible and meaningful tattoos that I have.
The sacred five lines on my shoulder, called the Ha Thaew, is the first one I ever received as well. This isn’t your standard tattoo, as it is a blessing from a Thai Buddhist monk.
The crazy part is you show up at the temple and without any discussion or planning, the monk deduces what he feels you need, and gives you the tattoo. He picks.
I went in with no idea what I’d come out with, although there’s a standard three that are almost always given to people who are getting a Sak Yant for the first time, and they traditionally always go on the upper back.
Since then I’ve gotten 4 more tattoos, all of which are sacred in some way. This was an amazing way to start off my ink journey!
Thais of World Trip Diaries
We’ve been getting one small tattoo from each country we visit and, during our last visit to Japan, we had a dream come true: a tebori tattoo.
A Tebori tattoo is the traditional hand-poked Japanese tattoo, made with bamboo and natural ink. In Japan, tattoos are still a taboo due to the former use it had: to identify the yakuza (the Japanese mafia) families.
For us, it meant a taste of Japan that’s off the tracks and a lovely and new tattoo experience!
My partner, Angelo, got himself the word Nihon (means Japan) in Japanese, and I got a ‘kawaii’ onigiri (a rice ball in a triangular shape, which is my favourite Japanese food!).
It was a great experience and a few things surprised us:
– It was painless, seriously. Nothing.
– It was super quick, as fast as the machines!
– There was very little blood involved, which is always good.
– The healing process was incredibly quick, and it almost didn’t itch.
It can be a little bit hard to find a Japanese tebori artist in Japan but if you do, don’t miss it! It’s an incredible experience!
Jyotsna Ramani of Wander with Jo
Knowing my passion for travelling, I had been meaning to add a travel tattoo to my existing body art for a very long time. After contemplating and discarding designs several times, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted and why.
After all, the ink stays on you forever so it needs to mean something – just any generic travel tattoo swiped off the web, didn’t seem quite right.
When I spent 3 amazing weeks in Vietnam, I realized this is it – I want to get my first travel tattoo right here.
After asking around, I found “Saigon ink” in Ho Chi Minh city was a reputed spot to get inked. So, on the last day of my Vietnamese adventure I booked an appointment and headed out.
After a long discussion with the tattoo designer (Different from the artist), I zeroed in on a personalized compass design.
Since my inbuilt GPS is broken and I tend to get lost often, I thought it was the perfect design for me. I also hoped it would help improve my navigational skills (Somehow!).
All in all, I loved it and since all of my tattoos were made while I was travelling (India, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand), I have another wonderful souvenir of my sojourns on my body.
Vicky of Buddy The Travelling Monkey
I’ve always loved to travel, but over the last few years, it’s really become such an important part of my life. That’s why I decided I wanted to design a travel tattoo for myself; something that would represent me and my love of travel.
This wasn’t my first tattoo, but it was the first time I’d come up with the design.
It took me awhile to figure out exactly what I wanted, but I finally came up with something that looked somewhat like an EKG line.
It started with a palm tree, which represents my home in Miami. Then the word “wanderlust” because it’s a feeling I always have. And last, an airplane representing going out and seeing the world.
A friend was able to recommend a tattoo artist so I went and it was done in no time. I chose to do it on my left arm. I really love my travel themed tattoo and get compliments on it all the time. Now travel will always be a part of my life, both mentally and physically!
I got my first tattoo while travelling in New Zealand a few years ago.
I’d spent a year in the country and it had turned into one of the most formative years of my life. A tattoo seemed like the perfect way of immortalising how incredible the experience had been.
Not only was it full of adventure, full of fun and full of memories, it was also profound in how it influenced my understanding of my identity. In travelling, I’d got closer to understanding who I am as a person, and recognising who I want to be and how I want to live my life.
But it has only been on reflection, and in hindsight, that I’ve recognised how profound the experience in New Zealand was. Which is why there’s a lovely, coincidental, synchronicity to the meaning of the symbol I had tattooed on my left shoulder.
The outside is a fairly bold looking sun, with a ‘Koru’ at its centre; a Koru is the Maori symbol for new life, growth, strength and peace.
At the time I decided on the design purely because I wanted something that represented my time in New Zealand and korus are quintessentially kiwi!
However, with the benefit of hindsight I see how the meaning behind the symbol (new life, growth, strength) matches almost exactly the impact my time in NZ had on me as a person.
Banff Inspired Tattoo
Gemma of Two Scots Abroad
On the top of my right arm sits a startled deer with a Banff backdrop! This travel tattoo was inked in Leon, Nicaragua and was inspired by an Instagram image.
I love Canada and hope for it to be my future home in the next few years. Cascade Mountain stands behind the deer and a line of trees.
This isn’t my first travel related tattoo. I also have a Ghostpatrol print on my thigh.
A girl in a cape is doing a shadow puppet with her hands creating a shadow wolf. I first saw this print in Melbourne, thought about it for three years then finally committed to it!
Travel Wings Inspired Tattoo
Alejandra of Universo Viajero
For as long I can remember I love to travel.
I started doing it when I was very little, as every year my parents take me and my sister out of the country for at least 3 weeks. But every time I felt more and more that these 3 weeks were not enough, that there was so much I would love to see and the time was so short.
So, every time someone asked me what was my dream, the answer was “to have wings so I can fly and see the whole worlds whenever I want to”.
In 2015 I left everything to pursue this dream with my boyfriend; a good job, my house, my comfort zone and my family. It was time to see the world.
We travel for 14 months to more than 100 cities, and when we were in Thailand other traveller asked me how this adventure makes me feel… again, I said: “like I have wings”.
A couple of weeks later I stop in a Tattoo Shop in Chiang Mai and ink forever the wings on my skin; now nothing can take them away from me.
I hope this would inspire you to get inked something beautiful and meaningful that would represent you and your love for travel through the colourful travel tattoos.