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Inked with wanderlust

Published : Aug 10, 2016, 6:46 pm IST
Updated : Aug 10, 2016, 6:46 pm IST

From compass vectors to maps, travel-inspired tattoos are the new craze among wanderlust-ridden souls across the globe. A few of them share their tattoo tales...

Wei Fang, a travel enthusiast and bakery chef, flaunts her India-inspired tattoo.
 Wei Fang, a travel enthusiast and bakery chef, flaunts her India-inspired tattoo.

From compass vectors to maps, travel-inspired tattoos are the new craze among wanderlust-ridden souls across the globe. A few of them share their tattoo tales...

Bored of buying fridge magnets and globes as souvenirs while holidaying in a foreign land What better way to commemorate your travel experiences than to get a tattoo inspired by your favourite destinations From compass vectors and passport stamps to map outlines and nautical miles, travel tattoos are gaining popularity among travellers and tattoo lovers.

Tell your tale Such tattoos are like permanent souvenirs, as you make your way around the world. Archana Nakhua Bhanushali, founder and artist, Ace Tattooz says, “They can be great conversation starters. Travel tattoos are a wonderful way of telling your story and sharing your experiences with others. The best way to ideate for this kind of tattoo is getting a feel of the culture you visit, listing the things that you like about the place visited and finally, deciding on one memory about the place that you would want to have forever on your skin.”

If you are still showing off your visa stamps to boast about your travel sojourns, here is a cool suggestion by Vikas and Mickey Malani of Body Canvas. They say, “Just take a copy of your passport stamps, blow them up and get inked. Passport-inspired wanderlust tattoos are a great addition to a tattoo collector’s treasure. Globally, converting your passport into a beautiful work of tattoo art is catching up, and is an offbeat idea for getting inked.”

Unique designs From a skyline that best captures the heart and soul of a place to etching a few footprints on your skin in varied sizes and colours, a trendy tattoo can bring out your travel spirit. Elaborating on unique designs for such tattoos, tattoo designer Archana says, “Designs inspired by maps from different parts of the world, airplane take-offs, compass vectors, bag-packing, nautical stars, trekking sketches, etc. are some creative inking ideas that one can choose from.”

Personalise, customise Tattoos inspired by flags of different countries are quite popular among travel fiends. While staying in Chicago, Surabhi Kanga, avid traveller and editor with a popular magazine decided to get a travel tattoo inspired by the city’s flag that consists of four six-pointed red stars. She shares, “My tattoo depicts four asterisks, which represent the four stars of the Chicago flag. I moved there in 2012 and was there until 2015. It was the first time I was truly on my own, and the city really took me in, I think. It was also the first time I was doing something I truly liked —writing, studying art, reporting, teaching. The people, my work, art, and food — all became home to me. I had wanted a tattoo for a long time but couldn’t really think of something that felt absolutely appropriate, but when I was about to move back to Delhi, I decided I should get something. It sounds sappy, but this is my way of carrying Chicago with me wherever I go, permanently: a metaphor for the relationship I have with Chicago. Plus, two of my closest friends there paid for it as a way of giving me a going-away present, so it’s doubly special.”

Travel tattoos are a great way of letting people know that you like to ‘drink life to the lees’, feels Wei Fang, travel enthusiast and bakery chef with a popular hotel. She shares the idea behind her travel tattoo: “My tattoo is replete with a lot of visual elements, each signifying my different experiences in India. There is a marijuana design inspired by Manali, from where my journey started in India. There is a Sikh man with red turban, symbolic of the man who saved me from a person who sexually assaulted me during a bus journey from Chandigarh to Delhi. A coconut tree from Goa, a boat from the backwaters in Kochi, a rickshaw from Delhi, tea leaves from Assam, mehendi from Lucknow, etc. — these are the unique experiences one can only find in India. My highly customised tattoo portrays the precious memories that I gathered over the past 2 years while travelling widely across this country.”

Tattoo designers Vikas and Mickey Malani share, “Two of our American clients whose stamp-like tattoos are self-designed, signify their love for India; the warm hospitality deeply touched them during their tour, so much so that they decided to put on Atithi devo bhava and a camel (after their experience in Jaisalmer) surrounded by circular dots which symbolises beads of Rudraksha.”

Do your homework Adding a note of caution, Abhishek Ahuja, the owner and artist at N.A Tattoo Studio, Karol Bagh says, “Get something meaningful which you can live your life with. Do some homework and keep a budget in mind. Never get anything copied from the Internet, prefer to take it as a reference and then customise it.”