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Unusual experiential travel ideas

Two unusual experiential travel ideas prospective clients ask me about all the time are about purchasing from medical cannabis dispensaries and getting tattoos. The first time someone asked me about either, I thought it was a fluke. When it happened a second time, I thought it was just coincidence. Now that it happens in many conversations I have with prospective clients, I’ve decided it’s a thing. People visiting the island want to get a tattoo and be able to purchase legal and safe cannabis. As the proud owner of several tattoos who consumes cannabis, I love it.

Unusual Experiential Travel Ideas: Tattoos

When I was growing up in New York City in the 1970s and ’80s, tattoos were mostly associated with hardcore drug use, gang members and convicts. I got my first one at 18, a purple rose on my left arm. I was very proud of it but also hyper aware that people made assumptions about me as soon as they saw it. I covered it up most of the time.

Another association that comes to mind for many are members of The Yakuza: Japan’s mafia. Members, both men and women, are recognizable by their full shirt and even full body artwork.

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Over the last 20 years tattoos have become more mainstream: artists, actors, singers, dog walkers, writers, doctors, lawyers, bankers, activists, grocery store clerks, and even executives have tattoos now. And despite this positive trend toward seeing tattoos as more mainstream, there’s nothing new about people using their bodies as canvas. Tattooing has been around as long as there have been people. Whether used solely as tribal marks or as a rite of passage, it’s still very common for indigenous people around the world to get tattoos on their faces and bodies. Here are some cool statistics about people who get tattoos.

There are many incredible tattoo artists on the island, which I determine by looking at people’s ink. There’s no better form of advertisement, is there? I personally love the work of Tony’s Tattoo Shop in Utuado. Not only do I love his work (I can’t say enough about it), but he’s extremely nice and we can talk about any topic. He’s very well rounded. When you’re sitting in a chair for what could be two, three, four or more hours, that’s very important.

Here are a few of his recent jobs. Mine are the first two.

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Tony can tattoo anything, but I’d say his specialties are:

  • Taino and other indigenous art
  • Flowers
  • Covering up old tattoos
  • Anything related to Puerto Rico
  • Animals and people
  • Anything related to nature
  • Portraits

If you’re looking for a tattoo artist who:

  • Loves what he does
  • Is extremely talented
  • Is highly experienced
  • Creates unique and one-of-a-kind art
  • Is friendly
  • Runs a hygienic shop
  • Uses the safest ink (nothing made with lead or other dangerous additives)
  • Is bilingual

Tony’s your guy. There are also many very talented artists on the island, I just happen to know Tony well and can personally recommend him.

Tony’s Tattoo Shop is open Monday thru Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00.

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Unusual Experiential Travel Ideas: Buying Cannabis

Since early 2017, legal medical cannabis has been available on Puerto Rico. Nearly every pueblo (town) has at least one dispensary. A lot of the growers on the island cultivate strains you’re accustomed to in North America.: OGs, Kushes, Diesels, Hazes, hybrids etc. I routinely buy Mango Haze for my migraines, AC DC for chronic pain, and various kushes and other strong Indicas for insomnia.

As an additional boost, reciprocity agreements with weed-legal U.S. states allow dispensaries to accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards, deepening the pool of potential patients even further. If you’re a resident of one of those states, you may legally obtain flower and extracts while staying in Puerto Rico. You should give yourself a month to process everything.

All you have to do now is figure out where you want to stay and there’s sure to be a dispensary near you. If you do decide to vacation here, I will be happy to make suggestions as well. I have visited most of the dispensaries on the island, both as a consumer and a cannabis writer. And prices continue to go down. They may be more or less expensive than where you live. Keep in mind if it’s more expensive, we’ll never have the volume you have in your state. There are only 3.2 million people here and it’s doubtful even half are cannabis consumers.
Depending on the strain you buy, prices are between $8.00 and $12.00 a gram, which includes sales tax. Whether you buy flower or extracts, everything is third party tested. I routinely ask to see the analysis of whatever I’m buying and I can report everything is free of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizer and heavy metals. Every cannabis plant on the island is grown organically, so buy with confidence.
What are some of the unusual experiential travel ideas you’d like us to explore for future blogs?

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