I was never a tattoo girl - I truly believed that there was nothing I liked enough to have it printed on my body for the rest of my life… until I started traveling.
Having taken a philosophy class while in Southern Italy, we pondered the meaning of Fernweh in relation to the sister-word, Heimweh. Fernweh is a German word with no true English translation, however the way my professor described it was the physical pain of knowing your soul belongs to a place you've never traveled to; in a way, travel-sickness. This is the opposite of Heimweh, which means homesickness. We spent hours toying with the push and pull of these two emotions, how at times we feel both of these, and what places on earth we felt these for. I knew right then that this was a word that had profound meaning for me for many reasons - for it memorialized my summer living and learning in Sorrento, a time in my life where I decided I had an obsessive need to travel - a feeling of Fernweh if you will.
After getting a small, script "Fernweh" tattooed on my foot while on a trip in Santa Barbara, I got my second travel tattoo on a girls trip to Stockholm. Since I was little, Sweden has always been important to me - a place I felt my soul physically needed to visit. While most girls my age were booking trips to party in Santorini or Ibiza, I longed for Stockholm, and convinced two of my best friends to come along with me. Seven days later, I had "Själ", or "soul" tattooed on my alternate foot.
I love the concept of getting a tattoo while traveling, and even more so a tattoo that signifies your travel experiences. Here are some of my favorite!
The world map tattoo is one that you see a lot of in different variations. This is one of my particular favorites done at a tattoo parlor in Russia, Spicy Tattooing.
Take note that tattoos this thin usually don't hold up well over time.
This is a tattoo I considered getting while in Sweden. A meaning similar to fernweh, "resfeber" translates from Swedish to a longing to travel, or a want to experience new things.
I'm a sucker for small tattoos. How cute is this airplane tattoo?
Compass tattoos are becoming increasingly popular in the travel world, but this is one I think is particularly unique! I love the idea of adding specific coordinates to the memorialize a certain spot or city.
While I'm more of a champagne by the Eiffel Tower kind of girl, this is the perfect tattoo for any adventurer.
Similar to the adventure tattoo above, this one has a more feminine feel.
Dérive is a French word that translates loosely to: To drift, led only by the landscape and architecture around you.
Is there a city that moved or changed you? I love the idea of doing an outline of a cityscape as a tattoo!
A passport stamp is a really unique tattoo idea for a place you feel in love with while visiting, however I also love this idea for a traveler who moved away from their home country, getting it then "stamped" on their body.
And lastly, my own "Fernweh" tattoo, roughly translated to farsickness or longing for far-off places
Do you have a travel tattoo? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!