Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Tattoo Story

I'll be honest. This post has always been a scary thought for me. I've mentioned before that I live in a very politically correct world. I have a politically correct job where I dress within a certain standard and act a certain way. Tattoos have become more socially acceptable since their invention, but they are still frowned upon in my everyday life. I like to rebel here and there where I can get away with it. My biggest rebellions to date are dying my hair florescent pink, and today's story. This is my tattoo story.

I'd always known from a young age that I wanted a tattoo. Whenever I want something really bad especially something as big as a permanent mark on my body, I will wait for it. So from the time I was 18 until the time I was 23 I planned, I researched, and I waited. Five years is a long time, but when it comes to commitment I can wait. 

I always thought I'd end up with a small music note, or an epically long quote that meant something to me. What I ended up with was so much better. If there is one thing I know it's that I will love traveling and the world until the end of my life.

Luckily for me when I decided I was making the right decision my best friend was also making the decision to get a tattoo of her own (not her first.) On the day of our appointment I was accompanied by my very best friend, and her always honest husband.

I knew the exact moment that I had made the right decision. My tattoo artist had just put my stencil on to check the placement. I walked over to the mirror, checked it out and thought it was a good placement. When I  asked my two escorts my best friend who had just finished with her tattoo (I don't remember why I thought it was a good idea for her to go first) said it looked great. Her husband said it was "adorable." I had never heard him use the word adorable before so I took it as a sign and I said. Let's Do It!
I chose my tattoo for many reasons. A few of which I told to my tattoo artist while he was drawing it.
1. I've been traveling and flying since I was three years old. It's the love of my life.
2. I have terrible wanderlust and one day I will travel the world. "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."
3. My dad is one of the smartest people I know. He prides himself on his knowledge of geography, so it's kind of a throw back to him.
4. It's brown because I wanted something that would age well. The more it fades the better it will look, like an aged map.
5. It's on my shoulder so I can easily hide it at work and show it off when I want to without being indecent. 
6. It doesn't have edges so any time only parts of it are showing it looks like a birth mark.

Here it is...

Post tattoo I have discovered a few things about myself. 
  • The pain I went through for this tattoo is a lot less than I had originally imagined. Although Africa nearly sent me off the table.
  • I am a one tattoo woman. I crave organization and matching. I've realized that tattoos unless done all in one sitting are insanely difficult to make look like one fluid piece of art.
  • I enjoy the mystery having a hidden tattoo gives me. It's my own personal rebellion and I love it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Travel Tip: Change Your Seat

So you've planned a trip. You've booked the hotel, the transportation, and you got those very important tickets to that special thing you wanted to see. You may have even already booked your plane tickets. Then you find out they aren't the seats you wanted. Now your trip is ruined. Here's a helpful tip.... Change your seats at the gate. 

Once you've gone through airport security and hit every checkpoint imaginable you'll have to sit there for several tedious hours waiting to board anyway. Why not make the most of it?

Usually everyone has checked in an hour before the flight, so this is an optimal time to change. Luckily most flights do not book up completely so there is usually some wiggle room for finding open seats. All you have to do is walk up to the desk, tell them your seat number, show them your boarding pass, and ask if there are any other open seats.

The best part is that if the only other open seats are in fact worse than your previously purchased seats you can politely tell them "that's okay" and walk away no worse for wear.

One example of this travel tip coming in handy is my recent trip to England. Unfortunately the only seats my travel companion and I could secure on such late notice were the very middle seats in the middle of the plane next to other passengers who were inevitably dreading seats next to us as well. (Not because we smelled or anything, but I'm not the most social on 10 hour flights.)

While waiting at our gate we went up to the desk and asked if there was any way we could change seats. Boy did we get lucky. There were two open seats at the back, next to the bathrooms in their own row.

The flight attendant warned us that these were not preferential seats because of their proximity to the bathroom but honestly that wasn't a con it was a pro.

We had our own row, we had extra room because of the awkward placement of the seats, we were some of the first people served because we were close to the attendants which means they were always nearby for help, AND we never had to wait for the bathroom. A quick glance over our shoulders always informed us if there was a line or an opening for the bathroom.

Wait a second...This turned into a post trying to convince you to love the back seats of the plane. That's not what I meant to convey. Instead I'm telling you not to stress about your seats on a flight. You can change them, and they will probably work out better than the original seats anyway.

Do you have any travel tips? We're all friends here. Go ahead and share.

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