Matthew Reppond is a freelance writer and history nerd from Alaska, currently residing in eastern Washington. When not road-tripping around the western United States, he’s probably enjoying some lively Irish tunes in a Dublin pub or wandering the winding streets of Old Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia.
🎓 Education: John Brown University (B.A. History, 2007)
✔️ Fun Facts: I speak a modest amount of Georgian (it’s not an easy language!). Lived two years off-and-on in Georgia. Traveled from Alaska through Canada and America twice on buses with a non-profit I worked for back in 2007 and 2009.
📚 What was Your Favorite Travel Experience or Story?
Georgia! I’ve spent around two years of my life visiting Georgia off and on. There’s simply nowhere else on earth like it. Sitting on the border of the cradle of civilizations, its memory reaches to earliest history. Georgian culture, music, and language are totally unique and unforgettable once you’ve experienced them! Best of all, the people are extremely hospitable and it’s easy to find yourself becoming “one of the tribe.”
One of the best experiences in Georgia is sitting at a supra listening to the toasts. Toasting in Georgia is way different from most western countries. Georgians are both heartfelt and eloquent, and even if they are relatively “poor” materially, they are among the richest people in the world in immaterial things. Once you’ve been to Georgia, it’s hard to stay away for too long!
🗺️ What’s Your #1 Expert Travel Tip?
Take advantage of stopovers and longer layovers! It may add a little to your expenses, but it’s a great way to see more sights, get some rest on long hauls, and offset jet lag. Some of my favorite places for a quick visit are Reykjavik and Istanbul. I’ve also made several day trips through the United Kingdom, France, and Spain on my way between Alaska and Georgia.
Also, keep an eye out for in-airport hotels, especially airside ones. They’re few and far between, and a bit on the spendier side, but are life-savers if (like me) you can’t sleep on planes!