Fresh out of college, and about as green as a blade of grass, I departed the shores of my beloved Ireland at the tender age of 23, headed for the Middle East. I had very little comprehension of where exactly I was headed—in the physical sense, in that my knowledge of Qatar was minimal, and in the spiritual sense, in that I had no idea which direction I wanted to go with my life. One thing I was certain of, however, was that I was ready to get my first tattoo.
In many ways, I can be pretty spontaneous. I didn't take too much time to mull over my decision to emigrate, for instance. That feeling of nervous exhilaration that burns in the pit of our stomachs when we take a blind leap into the unknown, while breaking free from the shackles of our comfort zones, is something I think we should all seek out. However, getting a tattoo, though, was not something I wanted to simply wander into.
It was an oddly powerful experience. My memory of it is lasting and vivid. This was not just because of the physical reminder of it that I was left with afterward. It was the sense of euphoria throughout, which is extremely difficult to articulate. And yes, you will want more of it afterward. That being said, it's no joke. It is permanent, and if you would like to get the most out of the experience, it's best not to do it on a whim.
With that in mind, here are a couple of things to consider before getting your first dart of ink: