Pierced and Inked

New York made a big impression on me.

Literally.

 

Twice.

 

The first instance, while spontaneous and kind of random for that particular day, was something I had been wanting to do for some time. And so when my friend Keph and I were wandering the East Village on a shopping quest, we made a pit stop, and I paid someone to put a hole in my face.

I got my nose pierced.

Nose piercingIt didn’t really hurt (for long). There was some aftershock: shivers bolted up and down my spine for several minutes as I thought of the sharp pin stabbing through layers of skin. I drowned them in a few beers immediately following. We returned home and waited for Pete’s reaction.

We had to wait patiently. It took four hours for him to even notice, despite my leaning over for many kisses, and talking to him with mere inches between our faces. He blamed bad lighting (hmmm), but when he finally noticed, proclaimed he loved it.

I was quite happy to have done it, but I still can’t quite pinpoint why, after almost three years of thinking about it, I finally did it while in New York.

The second instance, a couple of weeks later, is one that I never saw coming at all.

You know those times when you’re out with friends, having a few beers in a pub, enjoying electric conversation in a lively atmosphere? You wish the night to never end, believing that you’re forging lifelong bonds.

And then, one of your new besties states: “Let’s all go get tattoos!

Usually, such suggestions are quelled with another round of beers, or a hearty laugh and the proclamation: “Well, I’m not quite drunk enough for THAT!

But this time, there was instead a (fairly sober) chorus of “Yeah, let’s do that!” And before we knew what was happening, the chief instigator, none other than the cheap-dumpling-connoiseur Miss Kirsten Alana, had looked up the addresses of parlors nearby.

We found one just around the corner (which actually happened to be the same place I got my nose pierced). Within minutes we were pricing out options and sketching pictures. Of our original group of six, three of us decided to go under the needle, Justin and Juliet had to catch their train out of the city, and one was too worried about what her mom would think (you didn’t think I’d leave that out of the story, did you Cailin?)

We waited an hour for our turn, enjoyed bacon and guinness milkshakes (yes…you read that right!) at a nearby pub, and then returned with as much enthusiasm as we had the  hour before.

I admittedly waffled a wee bit, but as soon as Kirsten and Pete were done, it was my turn, and I wasn’t about to be left out.

The Paparazzi

The Travel Blog Paparazzi!

 

The excitement of an exclusive bond forged with new friends in a new city won out. A few minutes later, New York had left it’s second, more permanent, impression on me.

I give you…the members of The Airplane Gang.

 

Gettin' Ink'd

 

The Airplane Gang

Badasses!! I was going for the "Charlie's Angels" pose...apparently all by myself.

 

All Inked Up

The final result! From left to right: Me, Pete and Kirsten. (The airplane is the only new ink for me - the "Vale La Pena" I had done almost 2 years ago)

 

I may have since left New York,

but now it is impossible for New York to leave me.

 

87 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • Cailin
    March 12 2012

    I want to be a member of the airplane gang! :(
    We must all go back to New York and watch me get it done. Haha
    At least I was a good support system and photographer right? RIGHT??
    #iswearimnotasissy haha

    • March 13 2012

      I’m just sad we failed so miserably at some good ol’ fashioned peer pressure. :)

  • That’s awesome! I keep thinking about getting more ink, but haven’t gotten anything new in years. Coincidentally, I’m also going to NYC this summer. Hmmm….

    • March 13 2012

      HMMM! New York is the place to make it happen! We got it done at a place called NYC Kulture on St Marks by a girl named Lars (I think?) She was good!

  • Jen
    March 12 2012

    well, heck, why not!!! :-)
    I’ve been toying with getting a tattoo for years, but sometimes the spontaneous ones are the best! (Kind of like a metaphor to my own marriage :-) !!!

    • March 13 2012

      None of mine have been too carefully planned (except for the Vale la Pena) – I say just go for it! (Obviously!) :)

  • March 12 2012

    Love the planes! But I’m too much of a wimp–not to mention, too fickle–to ever do anything so permanent.

    • March 13 2012

      It is a dangerous thing too if you ever get your first one, then you just want more and more :)

  • March 12 2012

    Seriously wish we had just booked a hotel in NYC that night, we would be part of the airplane gang with you guys!

    We thought the night would be dinner, drinks, hanging out, good times all around. We weren’t prepared for the fun and debauchery that would tie us all together (well, almost, ok?) – if I knew then, what I know now, I would have booked a hotel room and we would have been inked with you guys.

    So happy to have met you guys and shared such a fun experience with you!
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..How I Saw the Boston Freedom Trail for Free

    • March 13 2012

      I HAD NO IDEA either!! How could we have predicted?? You and Juliet can still become members of the Airplane Gang – we’ll still let you in!

  • March 12 2012

    I give you lots of props for doing the old spontaneous tattoo thing! It took me years to pick where and what I wanted permanently etched on my body! And I am very happy with the results – it’s been a few years and I still get lots of comments, and I have never had a second thought about it.

    Your airplanes are very cool – I have been thinking that my next tattoo/s should be travel and/or food related, since those are my two greatest passions after music (my first tattoo is of a Renaissance composer, Josquin des Prez).

    Glad to hear New York has made a lasting impression on you! Come back soon!
    Karl P recently posted..With this New York Diner, the more it changes, the more it stays the same?

    • March 13 2012

      We would love to get back to New York soon – we miss it so much!

      I am very happy with the results of this spontaneous tattoo. For me, it ties in nicely to the other tattoo below it (it means “worth it”, which is in reference to our life of travel). In fact, that one little airplane could be the start of a whole travel series yet to come! :)

  • March 12 2012

    That is such an awesome idea for a tatt! I have umm-ed and ahh-ed about a tattoo now for about 5 years. Still cannot decide on one that I like badly enough. A plane is a great idea (I won’t steal it… yet).

    • March 13 2012

      Steal away! We can make you an honorary member of The Airplane Gang! We’re going GLOBAL!

  • Ter
    March 12 2012

    Awesome! I’ve been wanting my nose pierced too….hmm….
    Ter recently posted..Mutt Metaphor Monday #8

    • March 13 2012

      Damn! Wish you could have been in New York with me! :)

  • March 12 2012

    So perfect! Great choice!

    • March 13 2012

      It was all Kirsten’s idea. But I LOVE IT!

  • Kat
    March 12 2012

    I’m all for spontaneous and awesome tattoos, though I am surprised that a shop was willing to tattoo you after you’d been drinking (alcohol thins the blood, which can make tattooing problematic).
    Kat recently posted..Come on, let your colors burst.

    • March 13 2012

      We actually had VERY little to drink over a long evening! Any alcohol in our system was also surely absorbed by the bacon milkshake – haha! :)

      • Kat
        March 14 2012

        I know shops that won’t tattoo if you’ve had anything to drink within the prior 4-8 hours. I bet the bacon milkshake did help, though. :)

        • Pete
          March 14 2012

          I had the same thought going in, but the artist didn’t even ask. She did make us fill out a waiver though….

        • March 15 2012

          Yeah, I’m with you Kat – I worked in a shop for 3 years and I was thinking the same thing.

  • March 12 2012

    You are so much braver than I am, but I love the airplane. Too funny that Pete didn’t notice the nose ring at first.

    • March 13 2012

      Keph and I had actually made a bet about how long Pete would take to notice. She said within one hour, but for me, knowing how historically unobservant he has been, knew that it was an easy win. :)

  • March 12 2012

    When I went back to look at your nose ring, I figured out Pete’s problem. All pictures of you seem to be taken from the left side! How is the guy supposed to notice something that’s on the other side of your head?
    I’m not a fan of tattoos, but I do like your choice of the airplanes. Seems fitting for New York.

    • March 13 2012

      HAHA Steve!!! That is a good point, except that in person, he has access to ALL SIDES OF ME! :) There are no excuses, quit trying to stick up for him!

  • March 12 2012

    OMG!! I love the tattoo idea. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for years now, but I just can’t think of anything I love enough to have on my body permanently. But I looooooove the plane idea. I just may have to go for it!

    • March 13 2012

      Yay! Do it! Then we can make you an honorary member of The Airplane Gang!

  • Haha, I love the airplane tattoos! That’s a really cool idea :-) I got my nose pierced when I was 19 and to be honest it didn’t hurt half as much as getting all the piercings I have in my ears (my nook hurt the most!)

    I also got a tattoo travelling – a bird on my wrist when I was in Melbourne :-)
    Beverley | Pack Your Passport recently posted..What Did You Come Here For?

    • March 13 2012

      I am loving the wrist tattoos! Every time I get a new tattoo (this was my fourth)…I just keep thinking of the next one…

  • Hahahahahahaha nice! But what does Vale la Pena mean?
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..Visiting Disputed Territories: Israel’s Golan Heights

    • March 13 2012

      It’s a Spanish phrase that means “worth it” – in reference to our decision to sell everything and travel the world (starting in South America!)

  • March 13 2012

    That’s wonderful! I love getting inked while traveling! It’s a problem, I’ve seriously been considering it while in Australia! They look wonderful though.

    • March 13 2012

      Thanks Heather! It’s addicting, isn’t it?

  • March 13 2012

    The idea of plane tattoo is so coolllll
    rashmi recently posted..Are You The Leader of the Expats? Part Two

    • March 13 2012

      It was all Kirsten’s idea! :)

  • March 13 2012

    first off — WOW! 2 years since Vale La Pena, ans secondly…. I LOVE the airplane!! Extremely perfect! I look forward to seeing the collection grow.

    <3

    • March 13 2012

      Thanks Trixie! But now that I think about it, maybe Vale La Pena is only one year old? I’m so bad with time… :)

  • March 13 2012

    Love it!!!!
    Lisa | LLWorldTour recently posted..Nova Scotia: Peggy’s Cove & the Tragedy of Swiss Air Flight 111

  • March 13 2012

    I LOVE this!! When I was in Romania I met a few people and we all went to a tattoo/piercing shop to go get work done. I had it in my head I was going to get my nose pierced. Sadly, i ended up not doing it. When I was younger, I had a serious allergic reaction to my ears being pierced, so the doc told me “never again.” Of course, being on long-term travel, getting this done was a risk. So, even with tequila in me, I opted not to get it done. BUT, I still want a cute little diamond nose piercing!

    • March 13 2012

      Glad that logic was on your side that night – haha! Maybe you can get a fake one, and not take the risk?

  • March 13 2012

    Love that you chose airplanes!

  • March 13 2012

    Whee! We match, we match! I got my nose piercing 4 years ago (I really wanted a Monroe, but was worried about receding gums) and got my wrist tattoo 5 years ago. Love yours. After going ambitious last year and getting a full colour Red Tara on my calf kept thinking that was painful & I’m done. Sigh.. never say never, now I’m thinking of one on the back of my neck. But it will be related to Brazil when I get there in 2013. I dont know why, but it will! Jealous you all met, but sweet you had the experience together. :)
    Nomadic Chick recently posted..Bust a Travel Myth on International Women’s Day

    • March 13 2012

      I remember seeing pictures of your Red Tara – it is BEAUTIFUL! That is much more ambitious then my wee little ones! I am thinking of my next one too, but no ideas yet. Pete’s airplane is going to the start of something bigger, where he might have flags or something from all the countries we’ve been to added in the plane’s trail.

      I LOVE wrist tattoos! Even my mom has one! :)

  • March 13 2012

    I have friends who are fascinated with tattoos. They even got their whole legs tattooed artistically. It’s a Body not a Bloody Art they said. I just loved looking at them. They are really that Brave and Pain-Tolerant.
    Lyka Ricks recently posted..Benefits of Doula Care

    • March 13 2012

      I have many friends with those sorts of tattoos – and they ARE complete works of art. They are much braver than me. Mine are all teeny. :)

  • March 13 2012

    I love the airplain. At the age of 67 I started thinking of having a tattoo. Then I desided that I will have it as soon as I go home to Bodrum. I was thinking of the sun figure. I may add an airplain to go around it.
    You would no think I am a copycat would you?
    Cheers

    • March 13 2012

      Gunes – you are the ultimate traveler, and if you want an airplane, you should go for it! Maybe we’ll come with you when we make it down to Bodrum!

      P.S. My Mom got her first tattoo at 59 and now wants another one… :)

      • March 13 2012

        I am so corious about your experiences in Turkey. Can’t wait to hear about them. You should definatly come to Bodrum and we will do some cooking together. Maybe I will have my tattoo before you come.

  • Aafke
    March 13 2012

    To become a true friend, I now have to join FB AND have an airplane tattood on my arm…? (and yes miss no FB noticed that the Roatan pic has been moved ;)

    • Pete
      March 14 2012

      Ahh Facebook finally moved you :) You’ll always be a true friend, but to join the gang you need the ink :)

  • March 13 2012

    Those are funky tattoos :) But more importantly.. what the hell does a bacon and Guinness milkshake taste of!?
    Laurence recently posted..Nontron – French town of the knife

    • Pete
      March 14 2012

      The Guinness shake was quite tasty and tasted like Guinness as they use the actual syrup. The bacon shake was a okay for 1-2 sips, then it was too much.

  • Ali
    March 13 2012

    Awesome airplanes, I love it!
    Ali recently posted..My 7 Super Shots From 7 Continents

  • March 13 2012

    Bacon and Guinness milkshake???? I’m intrigued, love the airplane tattoos!

    • Pete
      March 14 2012

      Yep, we were quite intrigued as well when we read it on the sign… We couldn’t pass it up.

  • March 13 2012

    Very cool! I had you pegged as more “bus” people though… :)
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week — Bats! (wings sold separately)

  • March 13 2012

    What a brilliant story, love the comedy effect

    “But this time, there was instead a (fairly sober) chorus of “Yeah, let’s do that!” ”

    I admire your spontaneity as well, always wanted be spontaneous but I was too worried what my Mother might think.

  • March 13 2012

    I’m inkless because I can’t think of anything I like enough to commit to… but I am liking the airplane!! I can’t believe you guys just went out and did it – I’m impressed!
    Angie Away recently posted..7 Super Shots with @Hostelbookers

    • Pete
      March 14 2012

      Thanks Angie. It didn’t take much to convince me. I have a few tattoo ideas in mind, and I have a feeling this won’t be the last on our travels

  • March 13 2012

    I love it! Props to you for sticking with that spur of the moment crazy scheme. I had the same idea to get a tattoo once upon a time. When I arrived at my destination, they ony accepted cash and the nearest ATM was broken. I took it as a sign. Love your airplane!
    Claire recently posted..Florida On My Mind

    • Pete
      March 14 2012

      Thanks Claire, and Whoa, that is a definitely a sign. Sometimes the universe is just telling something.

  • March 14 2012

    I love the matching airplane tattoos!! What a fun idea. If I’d been with you, I totally would have gotten inked, too!
    Amanda recently posted..What’s in My Backpack: Iceland

    • Pete
      March 14 2012

      When we meet up we’ll go :)

  • March 14 2012

    Those are some good looking tattoos! Doesn’t it feel so much better when its spontaneous? I’m glad you guys enjoyed your New York trip!
    Alexa Meisler recently posted..The 52 Supernatural Places of Oahu

    • March 15 2012

      I’ve never quite done anything like that before (something so spontaneous!) and it did feel pretty good!

  • jan
    March 15 2012

    Wow, A popular post this was. Love the aeroplane idea. I know how you feel with Pete not noticing your piercing. I can get my hair cut and coloured and it takes Marty days to notice. He has many excuses, but it is obvious. They just don’t look!

    • March 15 2012

      You’re right! They DON’T! Pete is notoriously unobservant, and it’s not just with me, so I guess I’ve just learned to live with it. :)

  • March 15 2012

    I love the airplane tattoo! What a wonderful memory… probably the only good tattoo I know of that involved alcohol.
    Enjoy your new additions!

    • March 15 2012

      Haha! Well, we can’t even blame it on alcohol as there wasn’t that much. But no matter, we LOVE them anyways!

  • Maybe it’s not a bad thing that we didn’t get a chance to meet you guys in NYC. Kirsten was a bad enough influence and we left with just a mild hangover – nothing permanent. :)
    Caanan @ No Vacation Required recently posted..The Power of a Passport

    • March 16 2012

      Haha! She is trouble, that one. But it’s all good! We LOVE them! And her! :)

  • March 16 2012

    really cute tattoos! i love them on the wrist.
    Maria D. recently posted..The Best Diving Spots in Australia

  • My first tattoo was totally random and spur-of-the-moment, but it worked out (thank gawd!). I’ve been thinking about getting a second, but now all of a sudden I’m freaked out by the idea of so much permanence! LOL. I want to see a photo w/ your nose ring, Dalene – I think they’re super cute. I currently have a gold ring that I’ve kept in for like three years now, but for some reason it rarely shows up in photos.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Strange Street Foods in Thailand

  • Cam
    March 21 2012

    The Badass Crew!

    The best way to get inked is with a fun story like that – you’ll always remember those times – literally!

    • Pete
      March 21 2012

      It’s becoming quite normal now. I’m already designing the rest of the sleeve and who knows, I might just get some of it done here in Turkey…

  • March 21 2012

    “Airplane gang” — I love it!!

    • Pete
      March 22 2012

      Thanks Abby!! Our world domination has begun :)

  • March 23 2012

    LOVE this! I want one! Should be like a rite of passage for travel bloggers or something. ;)

    • March 24 2012

      Well, you should have been with us then instead of your wimpy friend! HAHA! (Sorry Cailin!)

  • March 25 2012

    I love the tattoos! Such a discreet but meaningful symbol. Good choice :)

  • April 12 2012

    Amazing! Sounds like you all had a fun time together. I’ve gotten inked twice on my travels and plan more … :)

  • April 16 2012

    wowowowow I love the little airplanes :D I have some big pieces on both sides of my ribcage, and probably wouldn’t think of getting more work done…. 28 hours under the needle was enough! But the little airplane is really really cute

    • April 17 2012

      Ah – if you got big ones done before, then this would be nothing in comparison! :)

  • Great NYC souvenir story!

  • December 26 2012

    I *love* this post! So awesome of you guys :)

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