I’ve always been a fan of tattoos, and the older I get, the more and more I seem to be acquiring.
At the moment, I’m working on a half-sleeve that’s an underwater aquatic scene that I saw when I was snorkeling in Fiji. And I love it–but, it’s the first really, really visible tattoo I have (the rest are on my shoulders, my sides and my back).
Now, I currently live in Tucson, Arizona, which is a very tattoo-friendly city, and I make my living as a freelance writer and blogger (and now as CEO of Go! Girl Guides), so finding a job has never really concerned me much.
That, and I think these days that tattoos have become much more popular within the working industry, that they no longer pose a threat to getting a job–unless, of course, I was trying to work some hum-drum office job, which I wouldn’t want to be doing anyway.
But the more I work on my tattoo, and the closer I get to traveling again, I can’t help but think: How do tattoos translate around the world?
Certainly, there are countries in which getting tattooed is a cultural tradition, perhaps a marking of manhood, a ritual that dates back thousands of years.
However, there are certainly other countries, in which it would be completely rude of me to flaunt my ink, but would that be because it would be rude to show skin in general?
Or, would tattoos pose their own insult in and of themselves?
For example, if I were going to a Muslim country, I would cover up regardless. But should my tattoo happen to peek out from beneath my sleeves, would I be in jeopardy of offending someone?
As I head to Thailand, should I be worried about offenses as I head deep into the country to cover it inside and out for a women’s guidebook?
What about you? Have you ever had negative experiences while traveling because you have tattoos? Or, are your tattoos widely accepted? Let me know, in the comments below!