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europe journal

That time in Galway I got tattoos

September 7, 2015

Let’s be real. It’s no surprise to anyone that I am the most impulsive person in the world. My first tattoo was spontaneous, so were my next two and it just seems natural that my fourth and fifth ones would be as well.

And they were.

Last month, I was doing a tour in Ireland with Trafalgar (more on that to come later!) and for a while now, I’ve been thinking of getting more tattoos. As we drove into Donegal, the bus passed a tattoo parlour on the way in and since we had some spare time in the town, I thought ‘why the hell not’. The only problem was that the tattoo parlour was completely booked. Luckily, they gave me the name of another place in Galway since it was also on my itinerary.

Two days later, I was in Galway and once again, out of luck (which seems completely ironic since I was in Ireland) as this parlour was also fully booked. They suggested to try William St and luckily, I remembered seeing one earlier called G’s Tattoos. To be completely honest, the place had seemed kind of dodgy when I first past it as a man stood outside with sign pointing to a creepy looking alleyway.

But at this point though, I was desperate for my tattoos. Nothing was going to stop me now!

I entered the alleyway and climbed up two set of stairs before I entered the tattoo parlour and boy, was I glad I decided not to judge it by its front. It was a funky little place with frames hanging on vibrant red walls and retro artwork painted on the doors. I was able to make an appointment for later with Caz and let me just say, that if guys are ever in Galway and you want a tattoo, then this is the place to get it.

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I decided that I was going to get a small anchor on my ankle and a four leaf clover on the inside of my elbow. The anchor was something I’ve always wanted to represent my love for the open sea and the freedom attached to it. On the other hand, the four leaf clover was a completely spontaneous idea that I had on the bus ride into Galway. There was this moment when we had a photo stop at the Connemara mountains and I just stood there, completely in awe of the nature around me. There was fog over the grassy green hills and a little stream trickling under a bridge. It was surreal, exactly what I had always pictured Ireland to be and it was then that I knew that I would come back to the island one day. I suppose the clover was my way of remembering that moment and I guess you could say, it never hurts to have a little bit of extra luck.

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Getting tattoos have never really hurt for me. The ones on my wrists did make my eyes water at first but you get used to the pain. Caz did the clover easily and at first I was going to have him fill it in but I chickened out, since I was scared of the pain. Regardless, I felt pain when he started on my anchor. Now, that one hurt like hell.

My main worry about getting tattoos overseas was that they might get infected. In fact, it was actually a bit of hassle trying to take care of them while I was still on the tour since I had to be careful about where I walked especially in regards to the anchor on my ankle. Whenever we went through fields, I had to carefully go on my tiptoes to make sure that no dirt or mud would get on my tattoo and I also had to be very particular about not scratching them when they started scabbing.

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Do I regret getting them overseas? Nope. In fact, I kind of want to get more tattoos overseas to remind me of my travels. If anything, I’m in love with my clover tattoo a little more than I expected just because when I got it, I decided that I was going to figure out what I want in life and do things that make me happy. It’s the tattoo that has made me really evaluate where my life is going and it’s the tattoo that I look at when I want some clarity.

Have you ever gotten a travel tattoo? What made you get it?

  • madeleineschmadeleine

    the clover is so cute! getting tattooed while you’re on holiday is the best – i got a polar bear done when i was in berlin last year and it never ceases to make me smile and think of what a great time i had.

    • Oh wow! A polar bear sounds amazing! I definitely want to get more travel tattoos along the way. I’m thinking of a little sun and maybe a compass one day 🙂