World map tattoo on back: Author and blogger Bill Passman has his journey recorded in ink
BILL Passman was a successful 51-year-old lawyer when he got his first passport and took off travelling across the world.
More than eight years later, the American grandfather has visited some of the most incredible places on Earth and has more than just the photos to show for it.
In fact, you only have to see his back for proof of his ink-credible journey.
The author and blogger is so passionate about his love of travel, he wanted to mark his journey, literally, in a totally different way.
It was while sitting in a bar in Utila Honduras in 2010 (four years after he started travelling in 2006) that the now 60-year-old decided he wanted to get a tattoo for every country he has visited.
He had noticed a girl with a tattoo with an outline of the world on her back where he got the inspiration to do a similar thing.
“I realised that if I was going to do that it would have to be a tattoo of the entire World including the specific countries,” he writes on his blog World Tattoo Traveller .
“I also knew that I would like to colour in each of the countries that I had travelled to.”
Speaking to news.com.au from his “current home” in Guatemala, Mr Passman said his favourite destination so far was here, but like all good travellers he admits it’s hard to choose.
“I always find something amazing to love in every country,” he said.
“I learned to scuba dive on The Great Barrier Reef.”
He has now visited more than 70 countries and all seven continents on Earth with no plan to stop anytime soon.
Not a bad effort for a late travel bloomer.
The father-of-three said his journey began after waking up one day and realising he never fulfilled his travel dream.
“I was a lawyer when I woke up one morning in 2006 and wondered what happened to my plans for travel,” he said.
“There always seemed to be a reason not to travel. So, I googled where to travel at 50 years old and the consensus seemed to be Climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.”
His trip to the 5895 metre high peak and a four day safari to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater changed his life forever and that’s when his desire to travel forever really took off.
“When I decided to quit working I, like most Americans, had not saved any money but I sold everything possible and used that to begin my travel,” he told news.com.au via email.
“I had some property with a large mortgage but leased them out and travel on the net proceeds.”
He said he only sold everything very recently and now has enough money to travel for two more years until he can cash in on his pension of $700 a month, which doesn’t sound like much, but is a “good amount for Guatemala”.
The author of Backpacking Around the World said he also made some money from his book which helped his travel funds.
The intrepid traveller also does guided trips for small groups on a budget to countries such as Ireland, France, Italy, Scotland as well as Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala.
When he’s not travelling he usually tries to spend a few months at his home in Louisiana, spending time with his sons and grandchildren. But often, a few months only ends up being a few weeks as “wanderlust” sets in.
For him, his tattoo journey was the best way to mark his travel and serves as a permanent reminder that anything is possible.
“This “new life” has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions,” he writes on his blog.
“Travelling is the best education and I hope my blog will encourage others to travel.”