The last day of our adventure was a travel day back home. Thankfully we were able to get ourselves up and out the door for our 4:45 AM taxi with no problems. The airport was surprisingly busy for that early hour of the morning, but we were plenty early for check-in. After check-in, but before security we used the last of our Georgian money to get some khachupuri and tea at a nice cafe inside the airport. We went directly from security to boarding without any wait, which was perfect, considering the long wait ahead of us in Istanbul. Our flight from Tbilisi to Istanbul was about 2 hours, but because of the time difference it was as if we only traveled 15 minutes forward in time. During the flight my congestion and plugged-up ears made for some unpleasantness and even a few tears, but thankfully Mario was there to make me feel at least a little better. We had discussed the possibility of going into the city during our layover in Istanbul, but in the end I wasn't really in the mood to pay 15 euros for a visa, plus the cost of the bus tickets just to be in the city for an hour or so. Perhaps if the weather had been a bit more appealing I would have gone for it. Besides, I'm good at entertaining myself during long layovers. Add in the fact that we had wifi access and heck, I could have been laid-over all day with no problem! The second flight - Istanbul to Kharkov - also brought some ouchy ears, but not quite as bad as the first flight. When we landed I was extremely glad to be back in Kharkov, but not quite so happy about being met by the biting cold.
This trip was special and different in many ways. It didn't feel like many of the trips I have taken in the past. For one, it was the first time that I can remember being super sick on a trip. It was special in that it was Mario and my's first time flying together. And it felt more adventurous even than our camping trip, the territory felt more uncharted, making the adventure all the more exciting. And now my friends, the question is...where to next?!?