top of page

To Catch a Hummingbird Tattoo

The story behind my first tattoo!

In the final episode of our YouTube Season 3: BONAIRE BOUND video series, I shared that during my trip home to Texas I got my first tattoo....and she is beautiful! But I think that the story behind the design is something really special.

For years I have wanted a tattoo. But I have always held off on getting one for 3 reasons:

  1. I didn't know what I wanted to get.

  2. I didn't know where (on my body) I wanted it to live.

  3. I was working in finance/banking where visible tattoos are a BIG no-no!

After living aboard our sailing catamaran for over a year, I realized that I was never going back to Corporate life. This propelled me to start thinking more seriously about getting a tattoo.

So, I bought a packet of pretty temporary tattoos from Amazon to give it test-drive! Check out some of my favorites below...

After a few months of trying different colors and placements, I knew that I wanted to get my tattoo on my forearm. If I was going to get a tattoo, it was going to be somewhere that I could see it everyday. Something about the forearm just felt my skin was itching for it!

There I was...fully free to get a tattoo and knowing exactly where to stick it. But there were still 2 big questions that remained unanswered...WHAT did I want and WHO was I going to trust with my skin?

Here's where the story starts to take a serendipitous twist...

I went to Denton, Texas to visit one of my dear friends and my former college roommate. We went to lunch and when she stood up from the booth I noticed that she had the most vibrant tattoo on her back that I had ever seen.

"Oh my God, Shannon! I love your tattoo!" I said as soon as I saw it.

She told me that she had it done fairly recently, and went on an extensive search to find the perfect artist. He specialized in color tattoos, and worked primarily with women.


"I can see if I can get you in with him while you are here, but he's usually booked out for months."

I connected with the artist, Al Martinez, at Dark Age Tattoo Studio on Instagram, and told him I was in town for a short period of time. He squeezed me in for a consultation, which gave me a only few days to come up with a concept before our first meeting.

So, I did what I normally do when I need to find the answer to something only I can produce. I meditated.

During my meditation, the vision of a hummingbird kept appearing. As the image grew clearer, I noticed that the hummingbird hovered in mid-air. In front of her was an open book laying on a bed of flowers. The book was full of blank pages, and as the hummingbird approached, she began to write inside the book with her beak.

To me, this vision represented a few things:

The hummingbird: She is my spirit animal! I have been blessed with a lot of natural energy, and I am known for planting seeds in many places.

The book with blank pages: This serves as a re