I began collecting tattoos as souvenirs back in 2009. I got two new pieces while on a sixteen-day road trip throughout the United States, and they remain two of my favourites to this day. I distinctly remember where I was and who I was with when I got them, and they not only provide me with memories of that trip, but it’s sort of fun to say I have tattoos from Las Vegas and New Orleans when anyone asks 😉
This tradition (which Shannon likened to acquiring new stamps in my passport), continued when I was in Victoria last October and Baltimore this past May. There was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to get a new piece on this trip.
Shannon and I both have a healthy number of tattoos between the two of us, so it was only natural for us to discuss the possibility of getting a new one together while we were away. We wanted something that represented our travels as well as our friendship. Many design ideas were tossed around in the months leading up to our vacation, but it probably wasn’t until the day before we got back to Vancouver that we decided on what we each wanted.
Shannon is a lover of crows and ravens, so it only seemed fitting that we drove the Crowsnest Highway for a good portion of our trip. Not only that, but we saw a shit ton of these huge birds throughout our travels. Because of all this, Shannon decided on getting the silhouette of a crow, in the style of the Crowsnest Highway sign.
When I was in Victoria I got a tattoo on my wrist with my girl Sarah D. from Australia. We had just finished our Moose tour and her time in Canada was shortly coming to an end. It was one of those spontaneous tattoos — Sarah already knew she wanted a cherry blossom because they represent new beginnings and growth, and I just knew I wanted something. As soon as I heard her reasoning behind wanting the design, I jumped on the band wagon. I was recently separated and about to begin a new chapter of my life. A cherry blossom fit perfectly as a symbolic way to represent that. Our blossoms are different in style (mine’s in colour, hers is black and gray), but on top of the symbolism they also represent the new-found and life-long friend I found in Sarah. I miss that girl to bits.
After I got the cherry blossom, however, I had this empty spot on the top of my wrist that was bugging me. So, I decided to fill it with two more blossoms — a wild rose for the province of Alberta and a dogwood bloom to represent British Columbia. I now have a trinity of blossoms obtained while out west.
Incorporated into both Shannon’s tattoo as well as my own is “XXV”, the Roman numerals for twenty-five. Twenty-five years of friendship that accumulated into twenty-five years of memories and one badass road trip. Every time I look down at my wrist now I’m reminded of the journey we each took in our lives. We were separated at times, but eventually we found each other again and created even more awesome memories to help propel us into our old age.
Our trip was almost over, we once again stuffed our bellies with sushi from Umeda, and we slept our final sleep in the bunk beds of the Samesun on Granville. The next day we flew home to Toronto (thankfully with no issues on that flight), got picked up at the airport by some people we both adored, and had a few pints to celebrate our safe arrival and the trip we just enjoyed.
It was just ten days, but those days will remain with me forever.
Cheers to 25 years!