Like many of you, my love for the Caribbean runs deep into my bones. It’s more than just a lifestyle that we live, it’s part of who we are, it’s entrenched in our DNA. I recently took that love and added a permanent reminder of it to my body. This permanent reminder was about 3 years in the making and I’d like to share the personal story with you.

The Shirt

It was about 3 years ago on the streets of Key West. Funny how Key West always sparks great ideas. Must me something in the water (rum) down there. I was walking down Duval Street and stumbled into one of the 25,157 t-shirt shops on the main drag. While scanning the racks and racks of shirts, one shirt jumped out and me. It was black and had a tribal manta ray on it. There was no hesitation, the shirt had to be purchased. You can see a photo of the shirt above.

The Idea

My friends and I always BS about getting new tattoos, mostly it’s a lot of talk and planning. As spontaneous as I usually am, that trait does not translate to getting tattoos whilly-nilly style. Something like that has to be planned, researched, mocked up in photoshop, and then it has to marinate awhile so that you’re absolutely sure it’s what you want.

So about 2 years ago after a night of margaritas and tattoo talk, I open up the closet to find something to wear and find this Key West shirt I hadn’t worn in quite some time. When I saw the shirt I instantly knew that that design was going to be my future tattoo. It was perfect! The design was a tribal manta ray with a sea turtle and 2 dolphins interwoven into the artwork. Doesn’t get much more Castaway than that.

Pulling the Trigger

Fast forward about a year. I knew what tattoo I wanted, where I wanted it, and now it was just a matter of doing it. That process took over a year and a special occasion to finally push me to pull the trigger. So about a week or two after my birthday, pirate girl and I head to Fort Myers Beach Tattoo to get inked.

I meet Gary the tattoo artist and climb into the chair. There’s was no turning back now. Below is the photo journey of a permanent reminder of a permanent feeling.

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

Stingray Tattoo

So that’s the story, three years in the making and now something that will last forever.

If you have a Caribbean/Ocean/Beach inspired tattoo I would love to see it and hear your story. Post a photo of it on the RumShopRyan Facebook page and tell us about your ink.



caribbean bloggers

What You Will Learn

This is not a short and simple guide that's full of fluff. It's 37 pages of indepth information that will take you step-by-step through the process of turning your passion into a money making business. While it focuses on travel, it can be used for any passion and niche.

By |2016-12-31T11:58:33-05:00November 15th, 2013|RSR Stories|4 Comments

About the Author:

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty.


  1. Jeremy McDaniel November 16, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Now all you need is the No Shoes Nation flag below it and you are good to go!

  2. mm
    RumShopRyan November 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Not a bad idea!

  3. Christine December 5, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Right before I joined the Air Force I wanted to move to Florida…well plans changed and the military shipped me almost as far away from the ocean as possible…Minot, ND but for my “joining gift” my mom got me a Sea Turtle as my third tattoo…I love it, it reminds me of where I hope to live some day and the beautiful creatures that I can only hope of swimming with…Great Story Ryan, keep it going!!!

  4. mm
    RumShopRyan December 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Great story of your own Christine! Keeping following that dream to live by the sea, it was the best choice I ever made. Cheers!

Comments are closed.