Recently, I’ve been trolling through instagram travel pages and noticed a trend of travel related tattoos. Which, as a travel tattoo-haver, I think it’s awesome. I always marvel at the creativity and wonder about the stories behind them. So, I thought I’d share mine. It’s a tiny star, but it means so much.
In the winter of 2005, I moved to Adana, Turkey. Adana resides in the southeastern region of the country (Anatolia), in Eurasia. It’s a fabulous city along the Mediterranean and the fourth largest in the country. A place I would highly recommend when it becomes more stable. At the time, we had been involved in the Iraq War a mere 3 years since 9/11, so there was a bit of unrest in the Middle East. Everyone was on high alert, with good reason. We didn’t know it at the time but six months later Israel-Hezbollah war would break out in Lebanon leaving ex-pats stranded as the city of Beirut can tumbling down. But that a story for another time…
December in Turkey is bitterly cold and the tensions made everything that much chillier. Americans were warned not to be out after midnight for fear of kidnapping and to watch our surroundings at all time because active bombings in the area. We were even put on curfews that didn’t lift until after sunrise. At night the city was lit up like a Christmas tree and the Turkish military did patrol in the streets. By the end of my second week, I realized that I hadn’t seen a single star since I landed. The light pollution from the watchtowers had hampered my view of starlight over the some of the most beautiful landscapes. There was sadness building in me because through all of my travels and adventures the sky was the one thing that was always consistent and kept me connected to my loved ones. There is the moon, the stars,sometimes a meteor and that never changes.
My friend Cassie and I promptly found a tattoo artist in the alley the following day and I had him tattoo a blue star on the inside of my wrist. I wanted to mark myself with memories from such an intense time in my life but also wanted to make sure that if ever ended under the night sky without a star in sight I could raise my arm and place one there. (Also, blue stars burn the brightest) It’s sounds cheesy but it’s gotten me through 21 countries, 27 states and counting.
Comment below with the travel story behind your tattoo!