When people ask me which country was my favorite I always tell them “Well… all countries are amazing in their own way, but probably Georgia”. I think it was the country in which I realized how much I want to travel more. It was the country which at that time (in 2016) shocked me the most. Also, it was the country from which I came with a tattoo and after this trip, I never talked with my friend with whom I was traveling there (we say “hi” if we accidentally meet in the street).
Unfortunately, that friend was taking photos the whole trip and I have no photos of my own.
I really can’t recommend what to see there or do, because our trip was a bit different. The first time I got interested in Georgia was when I met David Adam. it was something like in 2015, I was working in one Lithuanian bar with marketing, David was I guess traveling around and our bar event manager organized his concert. Check his music:
I instantly fell in love with his music and when we got talking it felt that I know him for a long time. He didn’t really have a place to stay so he slept at my friend’s apartment and it happened that we spend the rest of his time in Lithuania together. But, this friendship didn’t end like that, his girlfriend at that time studied with Erasmus+ program In Vilnius, Lithuania and he was visiting Lithuania a lot so we had a chance to meet. Several times he invited me to go to Georgia (Sakartvelo) and I and my friend went there and stayed with his two amazing brothers who are also artists. Listen to Shota Adamashvili song about traveling brother:
What to expect in Georgia (Sakartvelo)
Yes, there is a known fact about Georgia that people here are so welcoming and generous. During our trip, our one bus driver bought us breakfast and the other traditional Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread), people in the streets were happy to help and show us the road.
Does blond get more attention, myth or not?
Unfortunately, in my case yes, in some situations it was not even fun anymore. I couldn’t hide out as being a foreigner (but that happens almost everywhere I go). In the same bus, some teenagers heard my friend saying my name and they sang a song about my name the whole trip (4 hours) and tried to touch my hair. Also, countless times men asked me to marry them.
You’ll see lots of churches and monasteries
Georgia is a religious country, for sure, following Orthodox Christianity. The country has hundreds of churches and monasteries of a different architectural style and era. Some of those churches are located on the hills, so you can make a nice hike to visit them. Also, people are also here religious so be respectful for their traditions.
Yes in Georgia you can find a lot of street dogs, but that is not only sad but also it could be a bit dangerous sometimes. Several times when we were eating outside we had to climb up to hill or just to hideout from the dogs. They were extremely hungry and we tried to feed some of them, but some of them were aggressive. One time I was walking with Khachapuri in my hand and the dog tried to steal it from me.
Which language to communicate?
Try speaking Russian instead of English. In some situations like taxi and restaurants, you could pay more just by speaking English. Also, way more people understand Russian instead of English language, I highly recommend to go to a market and bring home as souvenir spices and here elder people speak only Russian.
Always ask a price before you order something. Unfortunately, scams are happening in Georgia quite often. In my situation, the waiter was so nice, he was chatty, told us that we look pretty, asked where we are from. We order only a cup of coffee so for that, we thought we didn’t need a menu. But when we got a check that was no fun anymore. Also, in the streets, there is quite a lot of beggars and also pickpockets so be careful. Also, check my list of tips on how to stay safe while traveling.
Omg! the food is so tasty
David’s brother told me before tasting Georgian traditional dishes: “one of the best feelings is when you taste the new food which becomes your favorite”. I totally agree with him to this day. The food was so natural in Georgia I truly enjoy it and the prices were really great. My favorite dish was Khinkali (Georgian Dumplings). These dumplings are filled with broth and meat while eating you have to carefully bite the corner of dumpling, then drink the broth and finally eat the dumpling. Other amazing dishes are Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) and Lobio (Bean Soup). Read the full of traditional food list here. Even though most of the dishes consists of meat, there is a big variety of vegetarian dishes too.
Carry a little cash at all times
In the big cities like Tbilisi or Kutaisi you can pay with your credit card, although you’ll want to carry some cash with you always. Although, while traveling around the country, in smaller towns most of the restaurants and other places won’t accept any cards.
The verdict, would I recommend traveling to Georgia (Sakartvelo)
Yes! Yes! Yes! and one more time YES! This country was an eye-opening for me, people were amazing, nature is astonishing, food delicious, there are so much to do here that everybody would know what to do here.