Our Thoughts On Tattoos and Travel


Tribesmen and truckers, prisoners and sailors, kings and commoners.
All have shared one thing: The art of the tattoo.
Cody and I during World Pride in Toronto

Cody and I during World Pride in Toronto

I think it is needless to say that Cody and I love tattoos. We love the look of them (if they are well executed of course) the symbolism behind them, and the just plain silliness of some designs.


For us they are a way to express ourselves, they represent growth, and consciousness, they remind us not to take life too seriously, and for me they keep my feet on the ground, always reminding me that I am not my body, and no matter how much others may judge me because of my exterior, my exterior is not who I am.
Getting my hand tattooed at the Nepal Tattoo Convention

Getting my hand tattooed at the Nepal Tattoo Convention

Tattoos have also taught me that unfortunately, many people don’t know how to look past appearance.


We are blinded by our sight. I have been guilty of this many times, but I am now very conscious of judging anyone solely on appearance, I don’t like to judge people at all, but being human and not quite yet a buddhist monk, I slip up once in a while.
Cody getting tattooed by Jason Dopko

Cody is in so much pain right now….I know it doesn’t look like it

Many people ask the question:
“What happens when you get old”?


 Our answer is:
“The same thing that will happen to you when you get old, except we will have colourful skin”


We are not concerned about 40 years from now, we are living here in this moment. People have issues with aging, and they seem to project those fears on us all the time.


Cody and I are going to grow old with tattoos. We are kind, conscious people with tattoos now, and we only hope to keep growing to become very old kind conscious people with tattoos and wrinkly skin later. Watch our video on the Nepal Tattoo Convention.
Getting tattooed by Jodi Thomas

Getting tattooed in the jungles of Northern Thailand

It’s ok everyone. If we’re ok with it, you should be too. It all comes down to how you carry yourself as a person.


I have had several people tell me that they really don’t like tattoos, but they really like mine and they suit me quite well.


I think that has a little bit to do with the way I carry myself, and a little smile goes a long way. All you need is 5 minutes to speak to someone, and tattoos or not, you know wether you want to continue the conversation.


Another question we get asked a lot is:
“How do people in other countries react when they see your tattoos”?

Always making friends.

Cody makes a friend in Bagan, Myanmar.

While travelling we find that people are very curious, they stare a lot, but we have never had any problems with any people in foreign countries. Check out our post on the tattooed people of Myanmar. 


Of course some people judge, in their mind, or in their religion it is not right to mark your body, as it is a temple of god. But to some in other religions, tribes, and to free thinkers, marking the body is a rite of passage.


Tattoos can symbolize a great number of things: pledges of love, rank, marks of courage, marks of fertility, religious and spiritual standing, memorials, and the list goes on.

No matter where we go, we always see locals with tattoos.

The art form has occurred in almost every culture worldwide, tattoos discovered on mummified and preserved bodies have dated back to as early as 4500 bc, with the earliest surviving examples of tattooed human skin coming from 12th-Dynasty Egypt.


Tattooing is an ancient form of art, and it is something that strongly resinates within us.


For most, tattoos are no longer associated with military, circus freaks, criminals, and sailors. Tattoos are now seen by many people as a fine art form, and so they should be. There are some incredibly gifted tattoo artists all around the world.
Kalaw, Myanmar

Always proud to show off their work.

Cody and I are planning on getting matching tattoos to commemorate our rtw journey, we’re not sure when and where, but we don’t plan on doing a lot of shopping while we travel, so a small tattoo that represents our love for travel and our experience is the best souvenir we can think of.

It’s ok if you don’t have tattoos and they’re not your thing. We’re just asking you not to judge us or anyone else based on appearance, we don’t judge you because you don’t have tattoos, so don’t judge us because we do.


Comments To This Entry.
  1. Douglass Dumler October 13, 2011 Reply

    you should update more often great read, also like the design of the site.

  2. Khristinne October 15, 2011 Reply

    Great post! Funny, just the other day I read another article about tattoos and travel:

  3. Danielle October 21, 2011 Reply

    Completely agree with this piece. I think that part about growing old with tattoos is so legit, I hear it often and never thought twice about telling people I would just have artistic wrinkly skin :). As for the foreign countries, I never put much thought into how people there would perceive them because I haven’t travelled. Well written 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody September 7, 2014 Reply

      Danielle, it is becoming more and more popular everywhere now but still people do have stereotypes towards tattoos.
      No we are not criminals or sailors 🙂

  4. We love the ink! I always like to hear the meaning behind a person’s tattoos. Our last tattoos were acquired in Thailand. Our ‘sak yants’ were given to us by a monk who picked them specifically for us. It’s definitely an experience that I think you two would enjoy!

    • Giselle and Cody March 10, 2012 Reply

      Hey Tawny,
      Thanks so much for the compliments. We watched your video where you get tattooed in Thailand and we plan on doing the same. Giselle’s Mom is meeting us in August and is getting her first tattoo while we are there. Hopefully they will be able to find some free space on Giselle and I 🙂

  5. Kballz March 17, 2012 Reply

    Hi guys! I get those tattoo questions all the time too. Its so funny. I wear long sleeves at work, and when my older patients happen to see a bit of my tattoo they go “what’s that?! you don’t look like a tattoo kinda girl”. And I always get frisked at the airport, especially going into the US…In Canada people don’t stare much, but in the Bible Belt it seemed they all thought I was a demon. ROR!! I don’t give a shit, I <3 Tattoos. Love to read your posts, keep 'em coming! Take care out there!
    Much love & happiness,
    Kali & John

  6. Giselle and Cody March 18, 2012 Reply

    Hey Kali and John,

    Kali, you totally look like a tattoo girl, a sexy tattooed nurse!:)
    We Love the art of tattoo as well, and we’re so glad not all people think it is wrong, although if they did, we would still have them!
    Thank goodness for free thought and free will!!

    We are most definitely taking care out here!

    Thanks for taking the time to write!

    Gza and Cody

  7. I actually wanted to ask how people react to u while travelling, but to Giselle, cause I feel that for women is a bit different, especially in countries that don’t maybe have that long history of tattos. I love what u said – my body is not what I am. In Croatia people still judge, even with piercings, I have to think where to put them cause 99% of the time you wont get a job cause of it -.- My dad once told me tattoos only have criminals and prostitutes, like seriously dude -.- But yeah, I hope to have courage one day as u guys, wish to have tattoos made from around the world 🙂 For now I only have a small one on my arm with S. Dali style saying “Normal is an illusion” 🙂

    Love, peace & pancakes

    • Giselle and Cody November 2, 2014 Reply

      Hi Pam. The way people react to my tattoos has always been mixed, but mostly positive. The way I see it, is if someone is judging me based solely on my tattoos, that says more about them than it ever will about me. The older you get the less you care about what people think about you. You’re never going to please everyone in the world, so might as well make yourself happy

  8. […] and to its inhabitants (human and animal) as possible. They are also covered in tattoos and wrote an inspiring post about how we are not our bodies. I truly admire the couple and I express my gratitude to them for sharing their […]

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