59-year-old Bill Passman is a travel nut. So far, he has been to at least half the countries in the world, and to keep track of every place he visits, he had the world map tattooed on his back, and very time he visits a new country, he has it colored by a tattoo artist. So far 60 different countries are colored on his back, and the rest are waiting to be filled.
Surprisingly, the lawyer from Louisiana only began travelling recently – at age 51, when he got his new passport. His first trip out of the country was to Tanzania and he has never looked back since. In 2010, he quit his job in order to travel full time. That was the year he got the tattoo as well. He travels most of the year, only returning home for about three months. While his adventures have taken him to all the seven continents (yes, even Antarctica), his favorite place is Guatemala.
“I got the tattoo as a way to show my passion for travel,” he said. “It’s a permanent reminder of all the amazing places I’ve visited.”
He explains how he got the idea of tattooing the world map on his back:
“While sitting in the Pirate Bar in Utila Honduras waiting for the World Cup to begin, I quickly noticed a girl, Jules, who I had met earlier in Antigua, Guatemala. After speaking for a moment she quickly turned around to speak to someone else and that is when I noticed it, a tattoo outline of the world. I, along with many other backpackers, quickly told her how awesome it looked. She also said that she planned putting a red dot on all the places she has traveled. While sitting at the table looking almost hypnotically looking at her tattoo every time her back was facing me, I realized that I had finally gotten the inspiration for the “travel” tattoo that I had been thinking about since my trip to Thailand. She told me that she had gotten the tattoo from Mike at Tattoo Antigua in Antigua, Guatemala. I realized that if I was going to do that it would have to be a tattoo of the entire World including the specific countries. I also knew that I would like to color in each of the countries that I had traveled to. I went back to Antigua and got the outline of the world done by Mike and then got the countries colored in by Jake of Natural Mystic Tattoo in Pineville, Louisiana.”
He even dedicated a special website to his tattoo after a recent media frenzy. You can follow his travel and tattoo colouring progress on http://billpassmanworldtattoo.blogspot.com
Would Bill still have enough space on his back for a trip (and accompanying tattoo) to the moon?!