Upon arrival to Samosir Island, we decided to rent a scooter to explore this mysterious place. That seems to be the best way to see the island though we did see a few folks on bicycles so that’s also an option. Our hotel was a bit on the outskirts of Tuk Tuk (the small town on the island) so to get the most of our time there we chose scooters after feeling comfortable with riding one in Bali.
I am an experienced Organizational Development Consultant who studied psychology my entire life (well before I left my career and my dissertation to take this around the world trip). Given my background, I know that the personality you are born with doesn’t change much throughout your life. However, your life experiences and your career can have a slight effect on your personality as you adjust to fit your role. For example, if you’re an introvert and your job is sales you can certainly excel at your job but once you’re home you need that alone time to get your energy back after you exhausted it interacting with people all day.
Samosir is an island on Lake Toba, which is one of the deepest lakes in the world. It was formed due to a catastrophic volcanic explosion about 70,000 years ago. This perfectly formed island in the middle of the lake is the largest island on a lake on an island in the world.
India. Wow, where do I begin? I jolted awake as we were coming in for the landing and saw endless lights of Mumbai pre-sunrise. I always get a rush of adrenaline and get really excited when we land in a new place. I long for being overly stimulated by all new sounds, views, temperatures and sights right as you step out of the airport. Mumbai definitely served up all that and more. As our taxi drove away from the airport, I was all eyes taking in this city before it woke up: endless buildings, people sleeping on the streets, piles of garbage and people drinking their first chais of the day. That’s when I thought:
We are not in the Greek Isles anymore.
Something that Colin Wright, one of my favorite travel bloggers, was discussing in his My Exile Lifestyle ebook about his travel lifestyle really resonated with me. He talks about a time in his life when he was feeling simply content – in the middle of the extremes of human potential. He describes it as this:
I never felt incredible euphoria or extreme pain. Instead of reaching peaks and valleys of human experience, my capacity was limited to a small region right in the center.
First off, I should remind you that Georgia was not on our itinerary for this trip originally. While traveling through Russia, we met a great couple who described their recent trip to Georgia. They were hosted by a family in the mountains outside of town called Kobuleti. After they shared their vivid impressions, we HAD to change our plans and check out the mysterious and intriguing Georgia. We were overcome with excitement after hearing their stories so we changed our itinerary by nixing Bulgaria and adding in Georgia. We traveled to Georgia on a heavy duty ferry boat that mostly transports trucks with imports and livestock along with truck drivers a few passengers like us on the boat. I describe this experience here.
Traveling to Batumi by boat was worth it for the view, if nothing else, that opens up right before your eyes as you approach the port. A truly awe-inspiring view: green mountain peaks, clear blue water, panoramic view of the Batumi skyline and dolphins greeting us: