In lots of minds this will conjure up visions of drunken hen/stag group tattoos, that you awake to regret. The infamous 'tramp stamp!'
Personally, I would like to squash this stereotype. Having had a few abroad to great success. When I look at them I am reminded of great memories, rather than shame.
Where I lost my tattoo virginity abroad (having previously been tattooed in the UK).
Heading over there to get married I always knew I wanted Thai writing of the date and venue.
On arrival to Koh Phi Phi I checked with a few locals that I had the correct translation, and not someone pulling my leg with a recipe or something more vulgar.
There were plenty of places to choose from on the Island and I ventured into them all, until I found the person I felt would do the best job.
The end result - It’s larger than my original plan (my forearm rather than wrist), but I'm happy that its more of a statement.
No going back!
Rio De Janiero
What an experience! Setting sails on my own for South America I had a design in mind. A skull with two birds and flowers.
In we walked speaking not a word of Portuguese but fueled by optimism.
Angie wanted the world on her wrist and Marcelozissu stepped up to the job. On showing them mine they said the man for the job would be. Xarope Blck He didn't speak English so a guy translated. I was informed to return in an hour as he prepared.
Over a Caipirinha I weighed up not going back then thought stuff it lets do this!
The stencil was applied and I was locked into my decision. The first few hours were painless whilst I watched fascinated by the art created on my thigh. My trust was there.
Casually tattooing a heart on his thigh.
The shop shut at 8pm and there was no mention of me coming back Xarope Blck was carrying on!
I was locked in the shop with 3 men (I wouldn't advise putting yourself in this situation), but I felt perfectly safe. The English-speaking guy went to get beers, which we all drank whilst the other man sat next to me tattooing a beating heart on his thigh. To say it was a random day is an understatement!
Xarope Blck barely took a break in the 8 hours he worked on me. His attention was never taken away as he shaded and worked on the finer details.
The beer was needed by the end as the pain got unbearable and I sat chomping on my scarf. The end results? Well look below.....
4 years on, and still my favourite!
I could not be happier, Xarope Blck also looked like he enjoyed every moment of his work as its far removed from his other pieces. 4 years later the colours are still so vibrant.
Such was my happiness, I returned the following week to get the world on my wrist. So, you could say I got a tramp stamp too to match my wifey and remember the year of me.
My advice when tattooing abroad.
1. So obvious but I will say it.... don't go in drunk
2. Know what you want before hand
3. Research, research, research!
Otherwise you could end up on tattoo fixers!!!! And nobody wants that.