Landing in Georgia I couldn’t wait to get out there.
There are times when you land on a plane in a place and it’s business as usual — you stay in your seat when everyone is jostling for position in the aisle, pulling down their bags in a hurry as if they can go somewhere before the door opens. Sometimes you land in a place and you just want to get out there — you find yourself standing with the other idiots in the aisle, jostling for position, trying to get off the plane nanoseconds before the people behind you. Arriving in Tbilisi I found myself among the later group.
I’ve never been to Georgia before — this extremely complex country that sits in probably the most ethnically diverse corridor in human history. The Caucasus — the area between the Black and Caspian Seas — is one of humanity’s dominant historic superhighways. Peoples from all across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe have used it as a land bridge to access regions beyond their geographic spheres. Including a curious group of milk drinkers who took over much of the known world because their armies had a mobile source of food.
As successive movements of people came through here over the ages they’ve littered their people at every step, like seeds dropping out of a hole in a pocket. Some of those seeds grew up into little communities who can still be found today where they were deposited — many being very different than those on the next valley beyond.
This is no different today — with Turkey, the Middle East, Russia, and Central Asia encroaching on all sides.
This is a fascinating, complex part of the world, and I couldn’t wait to get out there.
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