Travel Agents

The best tattoos in the travel industry

Tara Harrison

It’s no secret that people are the heart and soul of the travel industry.

So we found seven individuals from the travel industry who proudly wear their heart on their sleeves, knees, backs, ankles, stomachs and more.

Matt Sourdin, Chimu Adventures Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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Matt has the two halves of the world on his chest. He was destined for a career in travel.

He was always fascinated by maps, particularly from the 16th and 17th century where artists and cartographers joined forces to create stunning works of art that depicted the world as they knew it. There is a sense of excitement in these images, and they encourage him to travel to places off the beaten track.

Everything seems new and fresh and full of adventure. He wants to hold on to that feeling, so what better way to do than engrave it on a chest.

Matt has a very charismatic and colourful llama on his forearm, which was done in Lima, Peru. He lived in Peru for an extended period and wanted something to mark that period of his life. The design includes the Llama, Machu Picchu in the background, the Chakana (Inca Cross) and Huayruro seeds – all of which are sacred and symbolic parts of Inca History and Culture.

Tara Sena Becker, STA Travel Marketing Manager

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Tara had been talking about getting a tattoo for three years, but she never worked up the courage to do so. That all changed in July 2016, in the midst of a much needed trip to Bali with her two best girlfriends and fellow travel industry veterans.

Tara roped her friend Jen into a 5am Sanur Beach expedition to watch ‘the best sunrise in Bali’. Afterwards – or potentially during – they fell asleep on the sand, waking and deciding it seemed only appropriate to hot foot it to Ku De Ta for breakfast Bloody Mary’s.

With two dead phones, a nosebleed-section view of Seminyak beach, and a very attentive cocktail waiter, conversation turned to other ‘bucket list’ items.

And so, with a little encouragement from Tara’s braver ‘Bali tattoo veteran’ friend, she found herself lying in a chair talking through the logistics and design of three swallows flying up my right shoulder. They ended up as ‘Swallow Sisters’ with matching bird shoulder tattoos.

It’s a mark of a trip to remember, a symbol of freedom, and a reminder of her favourite people and fabulous times spent overseas.

Kim Ryan, Contiki Southern NSW/ACT Industry Sales Manager

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Kim has two both which happened whilst travelling but one of which was from my first trip overseas.

“The Butterfly I had done on my ankle in New York, post the Grand Southern, for me represents transformation,” she said.

“I feel travelling enabled me to become a better and more independent version of myself. Getting to know different people and exploring different cultures allowed me to discover who I was as a person and what I wanted out of life.”

Lisa Pagotto, Crooked Compass founder

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Lisa is an entrepreneur, who started her tour company Crooked Compass after it began life as a blog. But even before that, it took root on her ankle. She committed to the brand with a tattoo of the Crooked Compass logo on her ankle while in Vegas a mere three years ago.

Her best friend was with her, they were celebrating their 30th birthdays. Her best friend delivered the dubious reaction that tattooing the logo was the ‘dumbest thing she’d heard’.

Lisa was determined. “Having it on my foot, there for me to see, I wouldn’t let it be this business that failed. It was a motivator to make it happen. Now in meetings people will see it and say wow,” she said.

The geisha on her back is seven years old and since then she has accumulated seven tattoos in total, including Simba from The Lion King.

Adam Atkin, Prestige Safaris Managing Director  

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Adam has well and truly put his business and his travel passion across his heart and on his sleeve.

“When I hit 40 I realised I was never going to have big muscly arms for a tattoo.”

That had been putting him off in the past – but now he decided to dive in and get a sleeve of African animals.

They aren’t immediately obvious, when you draw closer you see the animated faces of mountain gorillas, rhinos, lions. He has the complete big five plus giraffe, zebra, all black but interspersed with the candy red of Zimbabwean flame lilies.

“My industry passion is for Africa and will never change. This is where you get Africa tattooed on your heart.”

The locals love it. Each and every time he arrives in one of the African nations he represents, airport or customs security staff talk to him for ten minutes at a time about his tattoos.

Hannah Edensor, Travel Weekly News Editor

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Hannah got her first tattoos after her Mum passed away, to always have a reminder of her. “The big butterfly on my forearm was inspired by all the big, beautiful butterflies I see everywhere when I felt I needed her most,” she said.

The world map on her wrist is in the hopes that she will keep her love of travel and sense of adventure alive. She is in the right job, having travelled to South Africa, Canada and South America during her tenure at Travel Weekly. Surely she should start colouring in the places already conquered?

“I get asked a lot if I plan on colouring in my tattoo when I visit a destination but the truth is I’m a sucker for black and white and it’s far too small to shade in anyway.“

Gaz Palmer-Hughes, Gypsy Travel owner

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Gaz moved over from the UK 12 years ago, and despite loving Australia, has the occasional wistful moment about his homeland – particularly after a big night. That’s how he ended up with those letters across his knuckles – HOMESICK. Turns out he missed his Mum.

While homesick is the strongest message across his hands, he has one other message tattooed. It reads ‘Plan Ahea”. Which he clearly didn’t, neglecting the final ’d’ and that’s the point. He’s not on to plan, and that philosophy extends to the adventures he has taken in the travel industry.

As owner of Gypsy Travel, he’s even had some of his clients tattooed with the long flowing haired lady that is the Gypsy Travel logo. Three travellers have taken the plunge to this date. Gaz hasn’t. Yet.

 

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