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An International Piercing Effort - Making My Dreams Come True

My life so far, in 18 short years, has consisted of three main dreams and goals: Becoming a professional musician, traveling the world, and becoming modified. The first step in that set of dreams was acquiring the 12 ear piercings I had desired from a very young age. Next, getting accepted into a highly-respected music school. Then, my treble clef tattoo. Now, in perhaps the most drastic measure of all, I uprooted my life for two months to travel around the other side of the Atlantic – spending two months going around the United Kingdom and Ireland - seeing what there is to see and getting to know who there is to know. I figured that while I'm studying at university the chances of me traveling like this would be slim, and I wanted the time to "find myself" before I started my rigorous course – I desperately needed a time to clear my head and figure out my goals for the next few years. Even with money woes on the horizon, I booked my plane ticket, and ten days after my high sc hool graduation, I found myself in London - I had a ticket to Glastonbury, some train tickets going around, and a few places to stay. Even though the journey was filled with uncertainty and I was living on a hope, a prayer, and a few hundred pounds - I felt happier than I have in a very long time.

In the middle of this two month excursion, I found myself in Edinburgh, Scotland. I originally intended to travel as much as I could – Not stay in one place for too long, because god only knows when I'll be returning and I wanted to see as much as I could before the chance slipped me by. But as plans seem to do, mine changed quite quickly – I wound up staying in Edinburgh for just over half of my journey, due to a major "side-trip" of mine to Paris being cancelled. After a little while fighting the idea of staying in one place for so long, I became comfortable with it – I explored as much of Edinburgh as I possibly could, and quickly fell in love not only with the charm of the city, but the people. For the four and a half weeks I was there, I made a comfortable home for myself that was hard to give up – And part of what made the journey so amazing was finding Studio 13 – A piercing and tattoo parlor just off The Royal Mile.

Even though I have a piercer and a tattoo artist I love very deeply back in Wisconsin, my desire for piercings and tattoo work kept popping into my mind while I was traveling. As I went around the local pubs and asked any modified person I could about where there was a respectable, clean shop in Edinburgh, every single person directed me to Studio 13. After doing a bit more research online I decided that this was the place to go for my next piercing, which I decided would be my left nostril.

During my fifth day in Edinburgh, I woke up and decided it was the day. Nothing was going to stop me, it was going to happen that day or else! I looked for their address and Google-Mapped it so I would know what bus to take and where to turn when (My knowledge of European street structure was VERY limited then, coming from a grid city it was quite a confusing situation in Edinburgh!) and everything else. After a few wrong turns and a little bit of frustration, I finally made it to the studio.

When I walked in, I couldn't believe how bright and beautiful the studio was. The reception room was HUGE and bright and clean and full of amazing artwork – I found myself in an awe-inspired daze until a woman approached me and asked me what she could do for me. As I quickly snapped out of my haze, I told her that a nostril piercing was in order today. She asked me to fill out the usual forms, to see my passport, and took a quick gander at my nose to see how she should bend the jewelry, then disappeared into the basement piercing studio while I took care of the forms. A few moments later, she came back up and asked me to come on down (just like "The Price is Right!!") and get my new piercing done.

I had been through this routine so many times that there was no nervous feeling anymore - just excitement about becoming one step closer to my body mod goals. I happily bounced down the stairs and saw an amazingly bright piercing set up that was probably the cleanest I've ever seen. She directed me to a very plush leather chair in the corner of the room, and got prepared for the piercing. As she did, we spoke a lot about the differences between Edinburgh and Milwaukee. I was in the middle of a story about a baseball game I had went to when she asked if I was ready and if I liked the placement of the tiny purple dot on my nose. (which I honestly didn't even realize she had done because we were so busy talking!) The placement was exactly where I had wanted it, and she gave the area one last swipe with cleaning solution, placed the needle on the spot, and asked if I was ready. I got out half of the word "sure" as I felt the needle go through – No countdown, no nothing, just BAM (Some people may not like this approach, but I actually prefer to not know it's coming). The piercing itself wasn't what I would consider painful, but there was a pressure that certainly made my eyes water as if I were sobbing. I was scared to open my eyes (not a big fan of needles) because I hadn't even felt the jewelry go through, but then I heard her say, "okay, all done! You can open your eyes and take a look!" I couldn't even believe it was finished. I took a look and saw a perfect little silver-looking stud in my nose – subtle and somewhat discreet. Exactly the size and placement I had wanted. She ran me quickly through the cleaning instructions, after laughing and asking if I knew them by heart by now, and gave me a tiny sheet with them anyway. We walked back upstairs; I paid, thanked her for her kindness and skill, and trotted out of the shop happy as a clam. I bought a coke and some Chinese take-away in celebration of my new addition, and went back to the flat wher e I was staying to enjoy the new addition that brought me one step closer to my goals.

Overall, I'm very happy with my choice of getting pierced in a new country, and getting pierced at Studio 13 in Edinburgh. Getting the piercing done added a whole new feeling to my trip – It added a brightness that otherwise would have been missing, and as I've never been one to bring back trinkets from my travels (minus pictures I take myself) but I now have something that will always help me remember this journey I took in my life, that helped me so much to clear my head, and has given me a bright start into "entering the world" – living on my own, working, going to uni full time – The whole "adult" thing. About three weeks after I had my nose pierced, I went back for a nipple piercing and had yet another amazing experience that brought me back in touch with a feminine side of myself that I have been sorely ignorant in acknowledging. I haven't had a problem with either piercing at all, my nipple piercing is actually healing faster than any piercing I've ever had. Now, with
a peaceful, clearer mind I'm sitting in London, 3 days away from heading back home. It's all surreal feeling really, but I believe this trip has not only brought me closer to my goals in all aspects, it has made me a better, more level-headed person. If you are ever feeling the need to travel like I was, do it and never look back – it will truly change your life! And Kate, my wonderful piercer across the Atlantic – thank you for two amazing experiences that have made such a difference in my life. It truly means the world to me.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Nose Piercing

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Artist: Kate
Studio: Studio+13
Location: Edinburgh%2C+Scotland

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