If you have
tattooed on your body, it will stand there without any context. Nobody will know that you translated the english word »experience« into German.
The meaning of »Erlebnis« is:
A remarkable event that someone experienced.
These are examples for events, that may come up in a native German speaker's mind, when he/she hears the word »Erlebnis« without any context:
A ride on a roller coaster.
First time in your life watch crystals grow through a microscope.
Go to a restaurant and have an extraordinary meal.
Watching the performance of an artist in a circus.
But Erlebnis can also be:
In a commercial:
»Mit der Bahn reisen ist immer ein Erlebnis«
“Traveling by train is always a remarkable event”
Written in a biography:
Die Erlebnisse seiner Kindheit prägten sein ganzes Leben.
His childhood-experiences shaped his whole life.
So, to summarize it, you can say that »Erlebnis« is something that happens to you in a more or less passive way. You can do things to let »Erlebnisse« arise. You can go to the circus, to the restaurant, or enter the roller coaster. You can look through the microscope or buy a train ticket. But this initial act is not the »Erlebnis« itself. The »Erlebnis« is the thing that happens to you after you initiated it.
And even more passive: An »Erlebnis« can also happen to you without any initiation from you. You did not initiate your own childhood. But you experienced »Erlebnisse« as a child. To be robbed is a very remarkable »Erlebnis«, but it comes to you without any active initiation by you.
Another translation of »experience« is
- Knowledge and skills that someone collected through long time by often repeated practice.
Frau M. hat viel Erfahrung mit Kindern.
Mrs. M. is very experienced with kids.
- A single event from which you could learn something.
Der Besuch dieser Ausstellung war eine tolle Erfahrung für mich.
Visiting this exhibition was a great experience for me.
I think »Erfahrung« works better as a tattoo than »Erlebnis«, but I guess it's still not what you want.
Others already gave you lists of alternatives (for which you didn't ask), and I don't have better German suggestions than they had.
My suggestion is to use the english word. It has exactly the meaning that you want and most people you will meet will be able to understand it.