The country of Georgia has a personality that will surprise anyone who visits. No matter what you think you know, you’ll always learn something strange and new in this country. I can’t quite put a finger on this place and what it’s identity really is, but my experience has been weird, exciting, delicious, and sometimes uncomfortable (a few drivers gave a new meaning to the term ‘road rage’). No day has been the same and though its tough exterior can be intimidating at times, the hospitality has been abundant and I always go to bed with a smile on my face. Learning and immersing yourself is what travel is all about and here are some vital bits that everyone needs to know before they go:

  1. Eat Khachapuri til you’re sick of it… then you’ll find yourself craving it
  2. Don’t eat the top of your Khinkali (dumpling)
  3. Drink too much Chacha with the locals
  4. Practice hello “Gamarjoba” and thank you “Matloba” – since those are the only words you’ll probably get down
  5. Day hike to the Gergeti Trinity Church in Kazbegi { read more in Hiking in Kazbegi }
  6. Trek from Mestia to Ushuguli
  7. Camp along the rivers made by the melting glaciers atop the Caucasus mountains
  8. Listen to small avalanches crash off Adishi Glacier
  9. Pet a Caucasus shepherd
  10. Have a grandma/mom cook you dinner – Dodo in Zhabeshi is the best!
  11. Stay in guesthouses
  12. Ride in a ‘marshrutka’ (taxi-bus)
  13. But don’t plan anything that day because the driver determines your ETD/ETA
  14. Ride a horse through the valleys in Svaneti
  15. Avoid meandering cows in the road and on the sidewalks… and their poop
  16. Wander the steep streets of old town Tbilisi and view the city from the fortress or TV tower
  17. Stare out at the rocky wasteland from Davit Gareja
  18. Peer into the cave houses in Vardzia
  19. Party til the sun rises then crash on the beach in Batumi
  20. Hang out with Giorgi at Giorgi’s Guesthouse in Kutaisi
  21. Dip into a bakery to watch how the unique handle bread is made
  22. Get lost trying to maneuver through Didube station in Tbilisi
  23. Don’t expect electricity, wifi, and water every day when in the mountains
  24. Always ask for directions – most people have a very stern look but are instantly the sweetest when engaged with a question. Even if they don’t speak English, they’ll do everything to help you!
  25. Leave oddly satisfied yet never fully understanding the unique and weird personality of Georgia

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What was your Georgian experience like?


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