Oct 5, 2023: Places I Want to Visit in Tbilisi Before I Leave

Pepperboy – Tbilisi, Georgia – 1:40pm

So, I received the news that I’m pretty much accepted into stunt school for the 2024 intake; I just need to do a video call to finalize the details, ask/answer any questions, and sign a contract. Which means… I’m moving to Norway next year!

Wow, let that sink in. I’d kind of had that idea on my mind for a while now, but it never felt official… And I suppose it’s still not a 100% given until I successfully have a study permit for Norway in my hand. But, still. It feels real, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling any sort of anxiety at all.

I think I’m so used to traveling that the idea of staying in one place for any extended period of time based on a contract or some other kind of commitment is low-key frightening to me. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind some time based somewhere. But I like it organically happening, because I fall in love with a place somewhere along the way. Not because it was pre-planned and I’m locked into something that I may or may not want to get out of prematurely. I know Norway will be beautiful and I am excited about the idea of living there and exploring that whole country and wider Europe for a longer period of time, but that doesn’t take away the nerves.

Case in point: it took me forever to commit to staying in Georgia for six months this year, and I was on the fence for so long about whether to stay in Georgia for another six months next year as well. I wanted to rent an apartment pretty badly, but wasn’t ever really willing to sign a contract for even six months… Sigh.

Anyways, now with Norway becoming a more definite plan on my horizon, rather than just a ship floating off somewhere behind fog lights and mist, I think I’m most likely not going to return to Georgia next year. I have the option to maybe go out to New Zealand on a working holiday visa before moving to Norway, but I’m also liking the idea of hopping around between countries in Southeast Asia again and spending time on different adventure sports learning ‘projects’. A month surfing in Bali, Indonesia; a month kitesurfing in Phan Rang, Vietnam; a month freediving in the Philippines; a month wakeboarding in Thailand, for example. We’ll see what happens though.

So, all of that was my long, roundabout way of saying: I’m probably not going to be in Tbilisi again after I shift up to Gudauri later this year. Which means I probably only have another month to a month and a half to enjoy all that Tbilisi has to offer. Better make the most of it!

Here’s a list of places I want to visit — and if I visit it, I’ll include a corresponding link to a blog post describing that experience. They’re not in any particular order.

  1. Tbilisi Sea – I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to take some sailing lessons here. I know there’s a yacht club there, but trying to organize some beginner lessons seems kind of hard because they offer the courses in English only sporadically. Still, I was quoted 600 lari for a 4-lesson course by one place, and 390 lari for 4 lessons in a month by another; not sure how long the lessons are each time. Will report back!
  2. Rike Park – yeah, I know. This is where that iconic futuristic Peace Bridge that puts Tbilisi on the map is located, and I still haven’t been there. I’ve been to other parks and picnic spots like Vake, Mziuri (love this place!), Dedaena, Lisi Lake and Turtle Lake, but still haven’t been to some other big ones.
  3. Mtatsminda Park – yeah, there are still some famous areas of Tbilisi I haven’t visited yet. I mostly hang out around Vake and Saburtalo, and because of driving lessons, I only just started using the metro and going to Isani and Varketili. I know. But, I reckon getting out to the surrounding hills and panoramic views of the city is a great way to get that bit of nature, especially at sunset.
  4. National Botanical Garden – I’ve only seen this from above; I still haven’t gone down into it.
  5. Chronicles of Georgia – probably could visit this at the same time as Tbilisi Sea (the north side anyways)
  6. Leaning Tower of Georgia – also the Rezo Gabriadze Puppet Theatre
  7. Opera Theatre – I’ve seen the outside of it walking past it between Liberty Square and Rustaveli, but I’d like to buy a ticket for a performance and watch it there — especially since seeing a professional ballet show is astoundingly only 8.5 lari. Crazy!
  8. Gallery 27 – I still haven’t visited any of the art galleries here in Tbilisi
  9. To be continued…

Also, there are many things I still need to finish before leaving Tbilisi, like the classes I’m taking. I also want to buy a 2-week pass to Tbilisi yoga loft/villa and immerse myself in yoga again for a fortnight, because I really have been feeling like I need to find peace and relaxation again.

Update: Today was a writing day. I had a driving lesson and driving theory class in the morning, but then I parked myself (what a pun… honk honk… yup, I’m a dad, making dad jokes) at Pepper Boy for the rest of the afternoon, then visited Tbilisi Yoga Villa for the first time, to take a meditation and sound session hosted by a friend. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful place — I’m definitely looking forward to immersing myself in that environment for two weeks.

Anyways, my writing total was 3715 words. Not too shabby. Could have been better, but I’m happy.



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