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Tbilisi Loves You… and You Will Love it Too.

No, it’s not exaggerated. Tbilisi loves its visitors. Or at least cordially invites them to wonder and to succumb to their curiosity with all their senses. A good prerequisite for experiencing such a fascinating place in its many facets, isn’t it?

I just came back from a conference in the capital of Georgia. Looking back at two eventful and wonderful days there I can’t cease to be amazed by the gentle and creative sides of this city and its colors and contradictions. I truly felt ‘home‘. Not only because of the warm-hearted people, the great food and wine, and some other similarities to my home city, but also thanks to the subtle way it lets you embrace its rich history, traditions, creativity, contradictions, aspirations. It lets you be part of it, just as much as you want to be. Here is what I loved most about Tbilisi:

Warmheartedness

From the Georgian lady at the passport control welcoming me by saying thank you in my language to Salomea, Mariam, and all other people who made my experience in Tbilisi richer and more profound by sharing information and showing bits and pieces of the city and the Georgian culture. It’s rare and delightful to be embraced in such a way and I am thankful and humbled.

Food and wine

The intense color and taste of the fruits and vegetables all over the city, the smell of fresh bread, the wine shops… All inviting to unforgettable culinary delights. I love Khachapuri in all its variations!

Greengrocery in TbilisiA wine shop in Tbilisi

Creativity

What amazed me while walking around the old city of Tbilisi is the variety of places, each of them unique in their own way. The small creative details making each of them interesting and worth visiting – the extraordinary buildings, unexpected change of architecture, the noticeably different ways of presenting goods and services. Even the old ladies selling sunflower seeds and peanuts had their own, sophisticated way of arranging their products. What more inviting and delightful could there be when it comes to discovering a city?

TbilisiA café in TbilisiBuilding in Tbilisi

Eagerness to learn

Speaking at the Marketing Kingdom conference in Tbilisi was a very special experience thanks to the audience which was one of the most proactive and inquisitive ones I have come across. The questions kept coming and discussions evolved into insights and new ideas. It seemed to me that the desire to learn and develop inherent in every human being is a driving force here.

Before my visit to Georgia the 15-hour trip seemed daunting, now I can say: it’s ONLY 15 hours that separate me from Tbilisi 🙂
Thank you, Tbilisi. I love you too and hope to be back soon!

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Discovery 30: Change

“Nothing endures but change.”
Heraclitus

Change is the only constant in today’s world. We tend to hear and say this every day. But what do we really mean when we use the word ‘change’? Is it simply the outcome of the fast-pace, always-on everyday life? Is it a change in ourselves, as a result of our efforts and aspirations? Or is it the change of the place we are at, and the people we are surrounded by? Change could mean any of these. But more important than the change itself is the way we react to it… or how and when we bring it about.

Author: Felix Burton; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons

Author: Felix Burton; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons


If I would be to name one thing that I discovered in the last 10-12 years, it would be the fact that change unleashes a huge potential, regardless of the nature of the change. I changed homes (more than I wished and hoped I would), I changed my country of residence, I changed jobs a number of times, I changed occupations and roles in my free time, the circle of my friends and acquaintances also changed completely… The way I perceive myself and the world changed. I changed. And I continue changing every day. As overwhelming as it can be, change is actually nothing more and nothing less than an opportunity. It is up to us to notice it and embrace it. While I am writing this, I realize that I learned to embrace change, but at the same time I still resist it. Admittedly, not changing is convenient and it seems a safe way to go about things and life in general. But not changing also means missing out on what life has to offer, even betraying oneself to a certain extent. Seen from that perspective, is the convenience of not changing really worth it?

PS: It’s an interesting feeling to write the last piece of my (re)discovery blog series on the topic of change right before another change of roles for me. I am flying to Tbilisi tomorrow to take on a speaker role at a conference. Now I consider myself fortunate to be able to embrace this change. And will soon be blogging about it.

Discovery 29: Bench aka The Importance of Being Alone

“‎In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.”
Haruki Murakami

It’s an evening of pouring rain on the verge of autumn and my thoughts circle around a wide range of memories and impressions. Suddenly the picture of an empty bench covered by rain drops and colorful leaves prevails. A bench is meant to be a place for rest and thoughtfulness, for lively conversations or occasional silent get-togethers. An empty bench doesn’t feel right for some reason. Combined with the rain and the ending summer, it can even evoke melancholy and make it to a blog list of discoveries like this one 😉

Bench

Being alone is something many feel uncomfortable about. So did I for a long time. And I used to surround myself with people or simply noise from different sources when I couldn’t stand just being on my own. Until I discovered that being able to be alone, learning to cope with it and enjoy it is essential and might even be a prerequisite for being able to be with others in a more meaningful way. In view of this discovery, the empty bench doesn’t seem such a sad place anymore…

Rediscovery 28: Sharing

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
Erma Bombeck

More often than not, sharing has played a crucial role in what I do. Be it sharing dreams, thoughts, impressions, knowledge… silence… space… experience, it has resulted in new ideas, inspiration, comfort, courage, the need to start something new or rediscover a familiar terrain.

Sharing turned into a trendy activity since the rise of social media. This is not necessarily bad, but it’s a pity to associate it simply with posting on social media platforms, don’t you think? Particularly because not seldom posting out there in what we call social media landscape has little to do with genuine sharing.

Source: http://laengsynt.de/rp13/#more-612; Author: Markus Henkel; CC BY 3.0; via Wikimedia Commons

Source: http://laengsynt.de/rp13/#more-612; Author: Markus Henkel; CC BY 3.0; via Wikimedia Commons


It takes courage, effort, and consideration to share genuinely. It requires a certain level of openness, vulnerability, and the interest in what others think, feel, believe, imagine. No wonder that it’s not that easy and sometimes we are reluctant or unable to do it. But today… today, by sharing my thoughts about it, I dare to challenge you to rediscover genuine sharing – no matter if it’s on social media, in an in-person conversation or in writing. I am going to continue sharing in a minute, this time in a candid message to someone I care about. And you?

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