Friday, October 18, 2019

We Traveled To 🇬🇪 Georgia, the Country 🇬🇪! Part 1

It wasn't one of those pre-arranged tours with a tour guide—it was more difficult, but way better! Our goal was to meet up with DD2, Susanna, and T-Squad on The World Race, and spend 6 days with them. We got a glimpse of what the year has been like for them. And what a glimpse!!!

We left home on Thursday morning at 3 AM. It was a wild trip just getting to the country of Georgia! We flew from Minneapolis to Boston, with a 15 hour layover; Boston to Istanbul, with an 8 hour layover that included 10,000 extra steps trying to recover a scarf I forgot on the airplane—I never saw it again, but we had some crazy experiences trying! Finally, Istanbul to Georgia, where we arrived at 4 AM on Saturday, to a very long line at immigration—who knew there would be such a long line at 4 AM?!!

Our next challenge was getting some local money. Our debit card would not work in the two ATMs! We had some spare dollar bills we exchanged to get us by. Next, getting to our accommodations. The taxi drivers were sharks, ready to take twice as much as usual to get us there! We managed to figure out “Bolt”, the local equivalent of Uber, where the cost is posted up front on the app. Finding the Bolt car was another trick, but the driver managed to find us! By now it was 5 AM, very dark outside and raining.

When booking our accommodations, Susanna recommended we do what the Racers do—go on Airbnb. Her tip—look for a “Superhost”, experienced hosts who have good ratings. We found an apartment for just $15 a night! Our host was super and talked by phone with our Bolt driver at 5 AM, trying to nail down the location. It was tricky, getting into our apartment, by now 5:30 AM, in the dark and in the rain. The streets were deserted. At one point I thought we might have to lie down in a doorway and sleep until it became light!

My first impression of the building was that it was condemned! But, we eventually made it through the 4 doors (2 were locked) and up two dark flights of stairs and into a newly remodeled, sparkling, spacious apartment that we had to ourselves. The first thing I wanted to do was wash my face. But the water was turned off! So we went to bed and slept for 9 hours! A great way to catch up on jet lag.

Thankfully the water was back on when we woke up! We wandered around the neighborhood, figured out how to work the local ATM, and struggled through buying some food. We thought we bought butter for our bread, but we were surprised to discover it was cottage cheese!

No one was speaking English. It looked like we were the only foreigners around. But according to Susanna, this was the most tourist-filled town they had been in so far. It's just that the tourists looked like residents to us!

We had two more free days before we would meet up with Susanna and T-Squad. The first day Mahlon planned a walking tour of churches. We visited seven beautiful Eastern Orthodox churches and logged 15,000+ steps. An interesting fact—women must wear a scarf over their head inside these churches. There are spares in a box at the door, but I opted to buy a new one.

On the way home from a supermarket visit, we suddenly heard some yelling in English! We looked up to discover Susanna running toward us! We weren't supposed to meet her for two more days, but when we happened to pass by so close, who could stop us! It was a tearful, wonderful reunion, after 8 months!

Our next free day was a walking textiles tour. It included visits to several fabric stores and local handicraft stores. We also visited the first dedicated silk museum in the world, established in 1890. Georgia is part of the original Silk Road.

Meet up day finally arrived! To be continued...
Grace and peace!!! ~Nancy
Follow Susanna's blog here: Susanna's World Race.
World Race is a Christian, non-denominational mission trip for people between the ages of 21 and 35. They travel to 11 countries in 11 months.


  1. Nancy it is fun to see all these details of your trip. Looking forward to day 2.

  2. How wonderful! Did you bring any fabric home? I bet you did.

  3. Well, I knew about the flight adventure, but not the Bolt and Air BnB adventure. Oh my -- and cottage cheese - LOL. I get teary about your surprise meet up with Suzanna; so cool! Looking forward to the next post!

  4. Oh wow you really did have an adventure getting there! Yes did you buy fabric???

  5. NANCY!! What a fabulous post. I can hardly wait to hear more. I completely understand those layovers and LONG flights . . . Bolt was a fabulous idea . . . and Air BnB . . . Well, I can just imagine your thoughts beyond the place being condemned. {{Hugs}} Oh, to hear Susanna's voice yelling to you in English. That whole paragraph just gave me the chills and a few happy tears. Love this!! When's the next post??!! ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. How wonderful you described your experiences! My heart was racing as I read, laughed and read some more! Yes! AirBnBs are the way to go! Take good care and looking forward to hearing more!

  7. Oh, what an adventure! I can imagine how joyous your reunion with Susanna was! Looking forward to the rest of the story.

  8. Я подписана на Ваш блог - Вы мне нравитесь! Я живу в России и, поэтому, считаю Вашу поездку чистой авантюрой, а Вас героической женщиной!

  9. Wow! What a wonderful start to a trip. Excited to hear about the rest. And I love thinking about a joyful reunion two days early!!


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