Why you should NOT travel solo in Georgia

Since WizzAir started expanding their routes from most European countries to Georgia for a very cheap price, more and more tourists decide to give Georgia a go. Slowly but surely, tourism is growing in Georgia, but are the people in Georgia ready for this? And what about the safety for travelers and solo (women) backpackers? I decided to share my own solo backpacking Georgian adventure..

Arriving at Kutaisi Airport

For most countries, flying to Kutaisi is the most budget friendly option. With flights from Eindhoven to Kutaisi being as low as 15 euros sometimes, why would you fly to the capital Tblisi for 200?

I arrived late after my 5 hour flight from Eindhoven, somewhere around 23.30 pm. As a woman traveling solo, I normally always avoid traveling at nighttime, but now I had no other choice. I purchased a bus ticket on the airport to go to Batumi. The ride takes approximately 2,5 hours from the Airport to Batumi, so I would arrive in the middle of the night and then walk around to find my hostel.. There were only 4 other persons in the bus (while the buses to Tblisi and Kutaisi were packed) and the bus was a pretty old racked one (while the other ones all were luxurious). I must admit: I was a little nervous. I decided just hop on, and that’s where it all started..

I must admit: I was a little nervous. I decided just hop on, and that’s where it all started..

It took a really long time for all the buses to depart. It took one hour of waiting before the bus finally started to ride. But right before we drove off, the bus driver came up towards me and 2 others who were also in the front of the bus. I didn’t understand anything until he started yelling “Rum, RUM!” with a big smile on his face. Well, th├ít I understand. He walked towards the back of the bus, grabbed a bottle of rum and glasses and gave it to the three of us for us to drink. “Welcome to Georgia!” he said.

One of the other 2 was a woman from Russia, so she translated everything so I was able to talk with the driver. I’ve never in my life had such a fun and interesting bus ride before! Lauching and drinking rum, in the middle of the night in an old cracky bus in Georgia. Who would have expected this? (The bus driver didn’t drink alcohol by the way, nothing, nada!) After we had finished the whole bottle of rum in less than 30 minutes (we just were very, very thirsty), he forced us to grab a bottle of vodka out of the fridge too. Shit.

Zippin’ rum in the bus to Batumi

— Mandarin // Arriving by bus and going to hostel // taxi in Kazbegi // pick up in Batumi // bread woman in Kutaisi + taxi driver // BLABLABLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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