Georgia seems to appear on nearly every world tourers favorites list, and we are no different. It’s one of our favorites too. And how could it not be? Where else are you invited to a crazy picnic nearly every night just because you were passing by? Georgia has some of the friendliest, most hospitable people on this planet, plus, their beautiful country has many small roads without much traffic, beautiful mountains, and easy wild camping opportunities next to a new river every night.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive”
I’m sure that you have all heard of the pay-it-forward movement, the idea that you do something kind for someone in the hopes that they in turn will do something kind for someone else. And for those of you who have been with me for a while, you already know about our debt to the world (which we will happily pay back for the rest of our lives) because of the amazing hospitality we have received through homestays, and the kind acts which seem to happen to us on a daily basis no matter where we happen to be. It’s these experiences, both big and small, which have made this lifestyle into the successful endeavor it has become, and so, to cap it off, here are a few pay-it-forward experiences that we have recently received, most of which came from other cyclists like us.
“Don’t tell me has educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.”
Why do we cycle? We do it for the peaceful nights at 4,000m surrounded by the stars and the snowy peaks. We do it to explore and discover rather than to simply sit and wonder, and we do it for the lovely people we meet along the way. One of the main reasons Kevin and I chose to travel as we do, and one of the thing that has kept us going through each and every country, is the astounding kindness of strangers and the wonderful homestays we have been lucky enough to partake in. Though it may seem pretty crazy if you haven’t experienced it yourself, total strangers really will invite you into their homes for a cup of tea (or even a night), and despite what the media may constantly tell you, our world is indeed a truly wonderful place.
“Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.”
Here it is, Georgia in a three minute video! Complete with cycling, camping, and impromptu dance parities.
And if that one doesn’t work for you, try watching it on YouTube (though unfortunately this version is silent).
If you have missed our other videos, check out the new page I started for them here.
“You live your life and tell me it can’t be done, I’ll live mine and show you it can.”
“Your legs are not giving out. You head is giving up. Keep going.”
Georgia is one of those countries which every world touring cyclist talks about because inevitably it ends up on someone’s “top countries to cycle though” list. And now I know why. Georgia is absolutely wonderful due to its beautiful mountains, quaint villages, and it’s extremely hospitable people. Though I have experienced kindness throughout every country during this bike journey, Georgia was something different. Here, it wasn’t just a few individuals who stepped out of their way to help you out, but rather it seemed that every single Georgian wanted nothing more than to make you feel welcome and at home in their gorgeous country.
“A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated.”
Today as I was walking down by the sea a man who was walking in front of me kept looking behind him to see if I was still there. He wasn’t smiling like the wonderful Georgian guys I buy my kebab from everyday, in fact, he had the same sort of disgusting look I saw so many times on Indian men as they turned around to ask me for porn. Was I being paranoid, I wondered, that any time a guy now looks at me for more than two seconds I automatically assume the worst?
“To do nothing is the way to be nothing.”
These last two weeks have been boring, really boring, since we have been waiting around playing what we frustratingly refer to as the visa game. Since my brother and best friend are coming to join us in Istanbul for Christmas, and since we can only get a three month visa for Turkey, we have to wait until mid October to enter the country in order to be legal throughout our whole stay. Since we had already spent two months cycling and visiting just about everything throughout the small country of Georgia, we decided to just go find somewhere to work along the Black Sea until we were allowed to enter.
“Sometimes I think a soulmate is the person who can make you the most “you” that you could possibly be.”
Though Hollywood has done an awfully good job showing us what a date should look like – dinner at an overpriced restaurant followed by an expensive dessert – Kevin and I have taken a much different approach. The point of a date is not to impress the other person, as Hollywood may want you to believe, but rather to spend time with them, so turn off your computer, leave your phone at home, and find something you both enjoy doing together.
“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”
The most inspiring travelers are not the ones who break records, or go the fastest, but rather the ones who continue to travel as a family once they have children. I (virtually) ran into my first cycling family three years ago while I was doing research for a paper I was writing about “road schooling,” and quickly fell in love. Here was a family with twin eleven year old boys who had decided that their boy’s middle school years would better be spent cycling from Alaska to Argentina, and boy were they right.