Worldwidemike, version 3
One of my traditions over the past couple decades of travel has been wearing a personalized "Worldwidemike" hat. I just had this one made at Easton yesterday. My previous WWM hat was pretty sweated out and was a little worse for the wear. I thought I'd go with a black one this time. I think it looks pretty cool. Others may think it's weird having a hat with your nickname on it, but hey! Others think it is weird I'm going to Georgia and Armenia in the first place!
Speaking of my destination, Azerbaijan has been officially trimmed from the list. I simply don't have enough time to secure a visa for my visit. I was hoping the embassy in Washington D.C. would let me show up in person and apply and get it in the same day. That's what I did for Mali, Syria and other countries who have restrictive visa policies. Azerbaijan apparently does not do this, and you instead have to wait 10 business days for it to be sent to you. That was cutting it too close for comfort, so I've decided to put a visit to the country off to another day.
The good part is that this lets me spend more time in both Georgia and Armenia. There is so much to see there. I'm really excited about this trip. One thing I'm trying to do is be more "21st century" with my travel preparation. I've used Facebook to contact people in Georgia and Armenia to have them answer questions I have. I'm still debating whether to take an iPad or iPhone with me. There is an app that translates what you want to say into Georgian or Armenian -- writing it out in their Cyrillic script, showing how to pronounce it, and even saying it for you. Not quite the Star Trek universal translator yet, but it is getting closer. And needless to say, I don't speak a word of either language, yet!
Next, I'm going to try to "email update" feature of this blog. Apparently, I can send an email to a certain address and it automatically updates this blog with what I send. I want to see how it works before I leave, so expect that to be coming shortly. I am now less than 2 weeks away -- so I'll soon be updating from the road!