Day 11: Monay, 24 April 2023 – Tbilisi, Georgia (41°69′N – 44°80′E)

Surreal to think that we all just met 10 days ago…so much has happened since then…so many friendships made…so many sites seen & experiences had…San Francisco, Seoul, Uzbekistan, and now Tbilisi. Well today, Teams are hopefully devouring Georgia, the Tbilisis & surrounding foothills/wine country, to be exact. What an interesting off-the-beaten path destination. I hope they all love it as much as we do?

Met some expats today in a café, furiously punching the keys of their laptops. Remote online workers, who can be anywhere doing their thing. I didn’t ask what nefarious business they were in. And they didn’t offer. Still, it got me thinking…and when I think, I research!  Bet you don’t know what is America’s 21st most populous state? With NO Electoral College votes, no Congressional Representatives. Just 5.7 million Americans living overseas! (The numbers are hazy because the State Dept says 9 million and the IRS says “at least 1 million”) … And Americans living abroad say leaving home isn’t about earning more money…it is about family connections & quality of life being better abroad (Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, UK (48%)…Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador (12%)…BTW: Did you know that every US citizen, whether they have ever even lived in the US or not, has to file US income tax? We are the only country in the world that does this. Ah, American Exceptionalism…

And speaking of exiles, we met a few young things from St. Petersburg today in Tbilisi. Of course, I asked questions…after hearing that they were on “extended vacations”…I replied, “You mean you’re in exile?” “Exactly,” they all chimed in. They don’t like Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, aren’t interested in being Putin’s canon fodder, and have taken their considerable math & tech talents elsewhere. Yes, they are draft dodgers–just like so many of my friends of a certain age who live on BC’s Sunshine Coast. It was an interesting chat we had. They are not hopeful.

This event has many aspects…trusting strangers in strange lands; site-doing (authentic, challenging & participatory scavenges)…but it also is all about Global Grazing. Face it, this event allows for a lot of things, but lingering in one place watching rice grow is not one of them. Relaxing on the beach is never a scavenge. Using the culinary metaphor, this is a dinner served of several tasty, light & oh so memorable tapas/appies—versus just having one large main course & knowing immediately that you made the wrong choice & it is just not going to hit your sweet spot, darn…you can’t return a vacation can you! Nope, this is Global Grazing…a little SFO, a little Asia, and so far, a little Eurasia…what’s the next hors d’oeuvres coming our way? We’ll take guesses.

A One-Minute Interview with Team Rayven

And who doesn’t need a little morning soothe…they invented that here: The Gregorian Chant, and of course, we have a special mixtape, err, playlist for you to experience. Enjoy.

Today’s Photos:

Mtatsminda Pantheon
Taste Testing caviar…
Khachapuri, a delicious cheese-filled bread
The Peace Bridge in Tbilisi
Local street art
A bejeweled icon
Architecturally stunning Tbilisi
A new friend enjoying her desert
Candy covered candy, fruit & nuts
Sameba Cathedral
Happy Pamela…

BTW: This blogs feature photo is some street art done by Georgian artist Musya Qeburia’s. Please check it out.

Until tomorrow…

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