Fabrika Hostel, Tbilisi, Georgia
A big part of why I love to travel is discovery. I explore countries new to me so I can do how the locals do – eat at their fave divey spots, drink at the locals-only joint, explore the hoods that they call home. I don't wanna walk through cities at a distance. And when I leave without a true sense of the culture, it feels like returning home with facts learned from brochures.
Georgians turned out to be a challenge for me. Didn't matter where I puttered, what I tried – there was no gettin’ down with locals. I'll change the game if natural connections aren't happening. I'll join a walking tour or visit a hostel ‘cause they attract people who are generally friendly and enjoy offerin’ tips.
And lucky for me, Tbilisi has a dope hostel, Fabrika, located in a converted Soviet-era sewing factory compound. It’s a bright and active space with super friendly staff (food fail again!). The vibe felt familiar – a hipster neighborhood with all the usual suspects. One building houses rooms and apartments. Other buildings house a co-working space, skate shop, graffiti shop, barber shop, plant shop, design studio and bookstore, ceramic studio and store, clothing store, ramen spot, burger joint, cafe and bar, and more.
I didn’t experience anything that screamed Georgian culture, but I totally welcomed the familiar feels. My trip was full of so much wrong that when a local returned my smile – hi-fives and BOOTYCLAPPIN’!