Travel Tattoos – The Ultimate Souvenir
Tattooing is about personalizing the body, making it a true home and fit temple for the spirit that dwells inside it.
- Michelle Delio, from the book “Tattoo: The Exotic Art of Skin Decoration”
Yesterday I got my first ever tattoos. It was an exciting experience and one I’ve been waiting for since I was in my early twenties. Over the years I’ve considered different designs and admired the work of different tattoo artists, but I never found quite the right image. Finally, at age 37, it struck me that it was words that I wanted, not images – words that brought to mind the best of times and the best of me. Favorite words. Words with power.
[Favorite words filled with memories from my travels – 4/2012]
Wanderlust: Wanderlust has been my favorite English word since the 7th grade. I can still remember looking at the word scratched in white chalk on the blackboard and thinking yes. Yes – that is what I want from life, to wander through the world and let one adventure fuel my passion for the next. And that was that – end of story – wanderlust has been my favorite word ever since.
мир: The next word is Russian (in the Latin alphabet ‘mir’) meaning peace or community. I lived on Peace Street in the Peace Corps and my photography business was called Strada Mir Photography or ‘Peace Street Photography.’
Comoara: The last word is Romanian for treasure. The Moldovan national anthem is called Limba Noastra – it’s a beautiful song about how the Romanian language is a treasure. The first line of the song is “Limba noastra-i o comoara,” which means “our language is a treasure.” On the way home from a competition in the capital city, a whole bus full of my students sang this song to me, except they replaced the word ‘limba’ with my name, Melinda. Too often I forget to treasure myself and I forget too how much I mean or have meant to people. Comoara is a wonderful memory, my favorite Romanian word, and a good reminder too.
I already have a favorite French and Sanskrit word picked out to add to the list.
What travel tattoos do you have? Where did you get them? What do they mean to you?