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Pierced and Inked

New York made a big impression on me.





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 (Add Yours)

  1. 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

  2. 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….

  3. 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 :-) !!!

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

  5. 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

  6. 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?

    • 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! :)

  7. 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).

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    • 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. :)

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

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

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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.


  18. 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!

  19. Love that you chose airplanes!

  20. 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

    • 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! :)

  21. 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

  22. 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?

    • 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… :)

  23. 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 ;)

  24. 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

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

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

  27. 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)

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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!

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

  35. 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

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

  37. 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

  38. The Badass Crew!

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

  39. “Airplane gang” — I love it!!

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

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

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

  43. 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

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

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