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I've been looking forward to sharing Mikkel's tattoo story with you. I'm so impressed she took the plunge and worked with a non-English speaker to translate the artwork. It came out beautifully! I'll let her tell you all about it. 

The decision to get my second tattoo was somewhat spontaneous. A week before I was headed to Japan for a two-week vacation I had a dream I got a tattoo abroad. I woke up feeling the need to follow through on the vivid image I had: “explore” in script on my neck, just above my back, in a slight arch.
I set out to find the style I wanted on Pinterest. Having tagged Mara’s work before, I found myself linked to her site knowing she was exactly who I wanted to create the piece. It was a tall order to get the design done in just 5-7 days but I reached out to Mara, hoping it was possible. To my delight, it was. 
There are few art forms that emulate the sexy, sinuous, graceful lines of calligraphy. No one does it better than Mara and I truly gravitate towards her work. I wanted the word “explore” for several reasons. Firstly, traveling is so important to me - but the word “travel” doesn't evoke as much emotion for me as "explore" does. I say this one word and my heart swells. It encompasses travel, my wonder with the world, my desire to examine things (for better or worse) and to put myself out there. What better time to get it than on a memorable trip to Japan? Secondly, I love the word’s simplicity and the potential for design with the word’s "x" at its beginning and “e” at its end. I was excited to see how Mara’s hand and creative mind translated it into artwork.
I fell in love with it once she sent me a few. So much so I needed to upgrade it to a tattoo on my arm so I could always look at it! 
Getting a tattoo of an English word in a foreign country, whose alphabet is nothing like America’s, is a challenge but I was ready to face it! I did some research before I left and found Hyperspace Tattoo. Through the use of Google Translate (they spoke no English, and I don’t speak any Japanese) we were able to communicate and discuss my tattoo. The end result is beautiful. 
I cannot thank Mara enough for her willingness to work with me and for making the process enjoyable. It truly added to the wonderful memory I’ll forever carry with me surrounding the entire experience. 
 Thank you so much for sharing, Mikkel! And for Hitomi in Osaka and photographer Allan Zepeda(!). (Also, PS, Neither Snow's tattoos were featured on BuzzFeed recently.)