The Freedom Life: September

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What's it like as a location independent digital nomad in Tbilisi Georgia? #tbilisi #locationindependent #digitalnomad #georgia #travel #expat

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What I Was Up to This Month

This September I spent the entire month in Tbilisi, Georgia (surprise, surprise!). I’ve been working on my goal of writing a blog post every week, and having some fun while I’m at it! This month wasn’t all fun though, I had to send in my computer for repairs (ahhh!!) AND the new headphones I ordered from the US don’t work with my computer. So… that’s great.

Read along to see what I was up to this September!

Where I Went in September

  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • and… um… that’s it.
Tbilisi Wine

Drinking Georgian wine!

Highlights

Here are the best moments from the month of September!

Fun Time With Friends

This month I made sure to set aside a few evenings for fun with friends! (In small groups of course). It was nice to enjoy the last little bit of warm weather by having wine under the stars of a friend’s new house, or enjoying homemade cocktails while playing Cards Against Humanity.

I’ve really been trying to appreciate the social things I am able to do because I am so lucky to live in a country with very low COVID cases (for now…). I’ve only really been saying yes to smaller group events, and usually only once a week right now. But this means I can really appreciate them and have a lot of fun while I’m there!

cats napping Tbilisi

Look at everyone napping together!

My Cats Hate Each Other Less

In case you missed last month’s recap, Chris and I rescued a kitten on the side of the road. My older cat HATED him and refused to be in the same room as him. She even hissed at me when she could smell him on me!

Now they’re finally starting to get along… sometimes.

They’ll play together for about 15 minutes until the older cat remembers she hates him, and then there’s lots of yowling as she smacks him a little too hard. Thankfully he’s not traumatized and continues to constantly bug her. He follows her around the house, jumps on her back while she’s pooping, and interrupts her naps by poking her in the face.

For the most part, they can now be in the same room together. We still separate them at night, and sometimes we need to put the kitten in time out when he won’t leave our big floof alone. But progress is progress!

Reading My Enneagram Books

As I’ve mentioned a few times now, I’m kind of absolutely obsessed with the Enneagram.

In addition to writing 1 blog post a week, I also have a second autumn goal of reading 4 Enneagram books in 3 months. (2 big ones and 2 small ones). I placed an order last month for two new Enneagram books and they arrived! I already finished one of them (about how to help other people find their Enneagram type!!), and I’m just over halfway through another one!

Now that I’m 2.5 books down by the end of September, I think I might actually finish this goal a month early!!

Georgian breakfast

Georgian bread and cheese on the balcony for brunch!

Writing New Blog Posts Every Week!

One month down, three months to go: I successfully wrote 1 blog post a week during September! Granted, one of these blog posts was on another website, but it’s 10,000 words long so you’ll have to cut me some slack on that one.

I’ve really been enjoying this challenge because it’s not just about writing more, it’s about writing things I’m passionate about. I don’t want to just crank out travel, teach abroad, top 10’s, or affiliate posts. I’m going to be opening up and writing things I actually want to write.

To be honest, I was actually very nervous to write the Enneagram post earlier this month because it has almost nothing to do with travel, and I thought you wouldn’t be interested. But then I realized, a lot of you aren’t interested in teaching abroad either, and I never let that stop me. Not everyone has to be interested in every single post I write and that’s okay.

But on top of that, I also had some imposter syndrome! I was worried I didn’t know enough about the Enneagram to share it. Of course, this is ridiculous considering I’ve read multiple books, listened to tons of Podcasts, and watched countless Youtube videos. I even joined an Enneagram webinar earlier this month. So yeah, I went for it and I’m so glad I did!

working from home

This is my view all day every day

Challenges

Last month wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Here’s what didn’t go so well…

My Computer Wouldn’t Connect to the Internet!

I had the craziest computer problem earlier this month, which meant I had to go without a computer for multiple days!

I was sitting there working on my computer when all of a sudden it disconnected from the internet. Not only that, but I couldn’t reconnect no matter what I did, and I couldn’t even connect to my hotspot! Now I’ve lived in this apartment since January and never had a problem. The wifi works for all our other devices and my hotspot would work for Chris. It was bizarre! But then randomly later that day my internet started working again…

Two days later, it happened AGAIN right in the middle of my admissions interviews. I had to have someone cover the rest of my interviews for the day, while I spent over an hour with Apple tech support who said it must be a hardware issue.

Thankfully there’s an approved Apple tech place here in Tbilisi, but they insisted I wait two days and bring it in. Of course, my internet starts working again later that day, but I still need to bring it in because it KEEPS happening. But unlike the US, they can’t do the diagnostic tests while I’m there, and need to take my laptop for multiple days. AHHH!! My laptop is my only computer, and I use it for work, so obviously, this is a disaster.

But then after two days they call me and say there’s NOTHING wrong with my computer. What??

I honestly didn’t believe them but there was nothing to do except take it home. But the second I brought it home I plugged everything in… the internet doesn’t work. What the actual F***?!

Chris and I hop in the cab to take it back to the shop, and I decide to check in the cab and see if my hotspot will work… and it does?! What? WHAT??

So during this time Chris starts googling in the car and comes across an old forum post from a few years ago where someone mentions that USB devices can sometimes interfere with wifi… and I had JUST bought a USB extender so I could plug in my USB work headphones, my USB desk lamp, and my USB mouse/ keyboard at the same time. I got rid of the USB extender and… what do you know!

So basically Chris and I arrived at the apple support place right as we realized the problem, and then promptly ordered another taxi home. Whoopsies!

Weirdest computer problem ever.

Tbilisi covid mask

buns all day every day

My Hair is a Disaster

So… this has been a challenge for the last few months but my hair is AWFUL in Tbilisi. SO BAD.

I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for a few years now, and my hair is looking so much better. But over the months my hair keeps getting worse and worse.

When I try to detangle my hair in the shower, it takes about 5x longer than it should (I just turn the water off now), and it feels like I’m trying to detangle my hair with one of those 2 in 1 shampoo conditioners, rather than my actual nice conditioner. It also feels like the conditioner is not penetrating my hair at all, and my hair even feels squeaky like I’ve just put a bunch of shampoo in it.

Not only that, but my hair looks like absolute CRAP when it’s dry. The day I wash it my hair looks fine, but then all bets are off. For you straight-haired people who wash your hair every day and are shaking your heads, just keep in mind you’re not supposed to wash curly hair every day, and I put a TON of expensive products in it when I wash it. Also, my hair takes about 5-6 hours to dry. So it only looks nice for about 2-3 hours and then it’s a frizzy rats nest in a bun.

I realized the problem is that Georgia has very hard water with a ton of minerals. The minerals are drying out my hair and making it so that the conditioner can’t actually get into the hair strand.

I did a ton of research and ordered Kinky Curly Come Clean all the way from the US as a chelating shampoo, but this did absolutely nothing for me. I’ve now started weekly apple cider vinegar rinses which are helping, but not enough. So I’ve given up and I’ll be ordering a shower filter from the US. Thankfully they’re only about $30 an easy to install! Wish me luck…

Tbilisi

AHHH!

I Ordered Headphones From the US that Didn’t Work!

In addition to the shampoo, I also ordered headphones with a microphone for my admissions interviews. I’ve been borrowing a pair from a friend for… a few months now, and I figured it’s time I finally buy my own.

I ordered some awesome Sennheiser headphones form the US and after waiting a few weeks for them to arrive… they arrived with TWO headphone jacks. WHAT?? Who has a computer with two headphone jacks? Maybe some call centers…? I guess I should’ve read the reviews more closely…

But here’s the thing… I can’t just return them to the US! I use a package forwarding service to send packages from the US to Tbilisi, so there’s no way I can just return them. UGH.

I tried using a headphone splitter and the headphones were able to work but not the microphone. Then I bought a headphone splitter that is specifically for headsets like these (with one side clearly marked for headphones and one clearly marked for microphones) and it STILL DIDN’T WORK.

Finally, Chris ordered a USB adaptor for headsets like mine all the way from the US. It finally arrived a few days ago and it actually works!!!!!

I mean, I was trying to avoid USB stuff considering my USB extender makes my wifi shut off, but oh well. You win some you lose some.

US politics

Yep…

US Politics… Ugh

Honestly… I’m so tired I can’t even anymore. I was trying to have “productive” discussions with people on social media who hold opinions I consider problematic (like spouting black-on-black crime statistics to excuse violence against the black community or people who are hard-core anti-mask), but I just can’t deal with the negativity and arguments from these people anymore.

I was also avoiding blocking people who have different political views from me so that I understand what “the other side” is thinking and they may see my posts and change their minds, but WOW is it exhausting to see that crap in your feed.

I just feel so angry all the time, and I need a break. I want to be a good ally and fight for what’s right, but now my Facebook feels completely toxic to me. This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that I have to spend multiple hours a day on Facebook for work.

Also, the presidential debate a few days ago… WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT??

Only fifteen minutes in and I was already screaming “SHUT UP” at Trump. One hour in and I just had to give up and turn it off. I was hoping to get a clearer picture of what Biden’s platform actually is, but to be honest, the entire debate was just screaming and everyone talking all over each other. I was actually really curious to learn more about Biden’s stances are on certain issues, but it was impossible to get any information with Trump heckling him to try and get him to respond to conspiracy theories and address his son’s drug use.

I already know who I’m voting for anyway, so…. whatever I guess?

cat with tongue out

Yasmina doesn’t have any front teeth so her tongue is out all the time <3

Blog Posts I Wrote in August

Keeping with my promise, I wrote a blog post every week for the last month! My goal was to have them all be on Adventures Around Asia, but after writing a 10,000-word guide on the website I share with Chris, I honestly didn’t have the energy to write another one last week. Sue me.

Here are the blog posts I wrote for Adventures Around Asia!

Here’s the monster of a guide I wrote for Multiple Nerdgasms!

Which post was your favorite? What kinds of posts do you want to see more of? Let me know in a comment below!

Aeropress

Photo by Amazon

Travel Product of the Month

What’s a coffee lover to do when you travel as much as I do? While I owned a coffee machine in China, it just didn’t make sense to buy a new machine in every country I move to, especially when I move every few months. While there is instant coffee, to be honest, I’m not a huge fan.

A few years ago I got given an Aeropress for Christmas and I’ve never looked back! I’m now on my second Aeropress and I LOVE IT. I honestly haven’t even thought about buying a coffee machine here in Tbilisi because my Aeropress does the job so well.

Not only is the Aeropress super easy to use, but it’s also so easy to clean! You just pop out the coffee grounds in a little pellet, and quickly rinse the product and set it out to dry. it takes two seconds.

While the Aeropress does come with little mini coffee filters, I actually bought a reusable metal filter. Not only is it better for the environment, but I also don’t have to ever worry about running out while I’m abroad!

Try the Aeropress For Yourself!

Wisdom of the Enneagram

This is how I read

What I’m Reading Now

Right now I’m re-reading the Honest Enneagram by Sarah Jane Case who runs the Enneagram and Coffee Podcast. So far I think this is the best beginner Enneagram book out there.

Why is that? Well, the Honest Enneagram is super easy to read, and it’s not very long. The book was written in 2020, so the language is current, and it reads more like a friend explaining the Enneagram than an in-depth dense psychology book. (No offense Wisdom of the Enneagram but you are dense AF).

If you want to learn more about the Enneagram and your type, but need something fun and easy to read, this is my recommendation.

While I have it on Kindle, I highly suggest grabbing the hardcover copy. Not only is it super cute (seriously, I want one for my future coffee table), but it’s also much easier to flip around with a physical book. I actually recommend getting all Enneagram books as a physical copy for this reason alone.

Cat tree Tbilsi

Oh haaay!

My Favorite Blog Posts of September

I had someone ask me to bring these back, so your wish is my command! Here are my favorite blog posts last month!

Eco House Merisi

Photo by Eco House Merisi

What I’m Up to in October!

October 5th will be my one-year wedding anniversary. WHAAAT? How has it already been a year???

So Chris and I decided to head out and do something really special for our anniversary. The two of us are going to take a 5-hour train to Batumi (spread out and with masks of course), where we’ll spend a night. Then we’re driving almost two hours up into the mountains to stay at a 2-room hotel I found on TIK TOK. Yes, you heard that right.

I was scrolling through my TikTok and, of course, I sometimes get Georgian stuff since I’m in Georgia. A quick video popped up about 3 incredible hotels in Georgia. One was Rooms Hotel Kazbegi (which Chris and I stayed in over the summer), and another was Eco House Merisi.

This hotel looked so beautiful I immediately had to look it up. This hotel doesn’t have a website and isn’t on any booking sites. It literally only has a Facebook page and we booked through Facebook messenger!!

For $100 USD/night USD we have our own private mountain villa with an incredible view, and an outdoor jacuzzi hot tub. They’re even going to set out candles around the tub on the night of our anniversary which I am beyond excited for.

Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend an anniversary during COVID times than at a 2-villa hotel in the absolute middle of nowhere.

I’ll be sure to let you know how the trip goes when I get back, and I promise to post about it on Instagram Stories!!

Expat life in Tbilisi, Georgia! Here's what it's like to live abroad as a location independent digital nomad in the Republic of Georgia during COVID!

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Let’s Hear From You!

How was your month? Do you want to hear more about my tech struggles working online, or my trip to Batumi and Merisi? Let me know in a comment below!

The Freedom Life: September

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About Richelle

Expat, traveler, and spicy food lover, I've spent the last few years living in China and traveling around Asia. In my spare time I enjoy salsa dancing, exploring night markets and stuffing my face with street food.

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