I’ve had a goal of getting a new tattoo in every country I explore, and mostly I’ve failed to find a shop and artist in the month we’ve spent in each place. But during my time in the Balkans, I was determined. While looking up shops, I discovered strange and beautiful traditional designs. On further research, I found sicanje, a female tattoo tradition with a captivating history. A tradition that vanished in the last 100 years and is just now beginning to reappear. I was, of course, obsessed, and the result is this piece in Atlas Obscura! It’s been a dream of mine to write for Atlas Obscura, a publication I’ve been following since its inception in 2009. Much thanks to my editor, Gemma, for trusting me to write it, and all her guidance and encouragement.