The $160 Vacation Abroad

The amazing thing I didn’t hit on in my last post was the ridiculously small amount of money I spent on this trip. It was a good thing too, as I was able to just use cash that I brought with me from the States.

Train to Tbilisi: 7000 AMD (~$20)
Marshrutka TBS to ERE: 30 GEL (~$20)
Roundtrip Marshrutka from Vardenis to ERE: 3000 AMD (~$8)

Typical meal: 8 GEL (~$5)

Couchsurfing: Free
Hostel (1 night): 25 GEL (~$18)

Georgian Beer: 1.80 GEL ($1)
Imported Beer: 8 GEL (~$5)
2 Liters of amazing Homemade Wine: 6 GEL (~$3.50)

That gives you an idea. But the most mind-blowing for me was the taxi driver/guide we hired in Gori. He drove us around for several hours to at least 3 different places, gave us information we never would have known in pretty good English, and basically made life worry-free for a whole afternoon. Then, we paid him in the old capital city, thinking he and the Brit would go to a museum we weren’t interested in and that we would take a marshrutka back to town. The museum was closed, so we tagged along with them to a church, spent at least 30 minutes there, and then he drove us back into Tbilisi and dropped us off right where we requested – all at no extra charge. Total damage: a meager 40 GEL, split amongst 3 of us, which meant about 13 GEL or roughly $8!! If you are traveling in Georgia, please Google Tariel Tabashidze. This guy is the real deal. Cell: +99599648928

So I spent 5 days/4 nights in a fairly developed capital city and spent less than some people spend in a bar on a given night. I don’t expect the same from the Poland trip, but man is it cool to take such an inexpensive vacation to a foreign country! Especially since I’m not making any money now! 😛

Funny moment in English club today: We were practicing asking for and saying our phone numbers. I said mine and all the girls wrote it down (save for 1 who somehow already had it, WTF?!). I think that’s the first time that’s happened in my life! Hah!


5 Responses to “The $160 Vacation Abroad”

  1. Gail Says:

    So I’ve been researching khachapuri recipes online. Most places call it Georgian Cheese Bread. I think I can definitely make this, although I may opt out of the boat shape. I even found a recipe for khachapuri pancakes which is a non-yeast recipe that you can make fairly quickly. I’ll start practicing and you can sample them when you come home.

  2. icenugget Says:

    Wow sounds great! But the boat is a prerequisite!!!

  3. Gail Says:

    The boat’s required?? Many of the sites showed a version that was kind of similar to an old-fashioned ice pack—kind of round and the top came together in this pleated look that ended with a topknot thing on top. I’m making myself hungry thinking about this!

  4. icenugget Says:

    A friend just told me why they make the boat shape. The handles are for when they are forming the dough. They spin the middle (like a jumprope) while holding the handles. Then the oven is a circular brick oven. They slap it to the wall, and later use the handles to pull it off!

  5. CouchSurfing Explained « IceNugget's Blog Says:

    […] For example, I knew I was going to Tbilisi in April.  I started sending out messages to CSers there asking if they could host me during that time.  Some weren’t able, some didn’t answer, but I did find someone willing to do it.  And she was a great host that really enhanced my experience.  There’s nothing like walking home through the city not to a hotel, but to a typical house situated in some non-descript neighborhood that you would otherwise never visit.  It’s also a serious way to save some cash.  It gives budget travel a whole new meaning.  If you remember, my 4 day trip to Tbilisi cost under $200. […]

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