Let me introduce myself. My name is Sofia, I am professional tennis player, who travels the world.
When I say professional that does not mean Serena Williams type of professional. I am lower ranked player, who is trying her best to improve in competitions.
My life is full of strange events and a lot of travel. A lot of people and a lot of experiences.
Strange events. Lately I had urge to share my journey with people, because I do think it might be interesting to some. I want to share my travel experiences, the cafes around the world, the coffee shops, the book stores, sport events, fights and grinds.
My travels are far from luxury travels, as lower ranked tennis players try to save every bit of money, as tennis is expensive sport and if you are not among top 100 players in the world, you monthly income after expenses in the best case scenario is 0. So we have to find a way to travel cheap, eat cheap, get cheap accommodation and try to stay sane at the same time.
Some trips are nicer, some are worse, some are disaster and some are great.
Also I practice a lot and work out, I love to cook and I am reader.
I plan to share everything here, from my personal experiences to recipes, I want to share how strange the world is at times and how people surprise you in a good and bad way.
About how many times life helped me go through another day.
I want to write as in ten years I gathered a lot of things to say and I feel some things are meant to be shared. More people are aware of events happening in the world, more they are ready for their own obstacles.
21st century gave us a lot of opportunities to share experiences and help us to learn from each other, exchange thoughts, information and a lot more.
So I would like to use my free time and share things I find or found interesting around the world and in life. Also I will welcome any ideas if you give me some what would you like to hear from me…
I come from Georgia, Tbilisi. Ex USSR country or ex Soviet Union, however you prefer to call it.
Growing up there was not easy. 90`s in Georgia was bad time, we had no water or heating, nor electricity, everything was measured, electricity once a day for 30 minutes or maybe hour if it was a good day, heating was a gasoline lamp that we used as a light as well. There were lines for bread and if we did not wake up at 5 am to stand in the line for bread we would not be able to buy it.
After Soviet Union broke down my family was in very difficult material situation. My mom used to buy one egg for me,as I was the youngest one and cook it on candle. It is not my nicest memory, but also I don’t remember that times as dark times, probably because I was very young, I guess my parents don’t think so.
Later we moved to Russia, as my dad was promised a good job there and in desperation we sold all we had including apartment and flew to Russia all together.
We had a lot of plans and we were happy to have a chance to start new life in Moscow with new great job for my dad. His friend that gave us a lot of promises to help us and give my father a job was supposed to pick us up in the airport at night when we landed. And we hopes after that everything would be great.
But nothing goes really smooth in life, nobody picked us up or showed up, the man did not pick up the phone and we stayed in the street, in minus 20 degrees c, with boxes of stuff in our hands, without any idea where to go.
I remember good that night, my mom cried her eyes out, my dad was watching me with worry. We slept in the street on the boxes that night, and that was the moment I started to hate airports forever…
Another morning came and as usual mornings are always better.
My mother’s cousin lived in Moscow and he helped us find an apartment for rent, where we could move exactly next day, it was not great, nothing good, but at least something to start off.
My father desperately tried for couple of month to find job in his profession, in Georgia he was principal in school and teacher, but nobody needed Georgian person in Russia that time.
Our money from Georgia started to run out fast so he started to work in clothes market in Russia.
I still don’t know how he managed to do it, as in minus degrees in Russian cold, to stand in the street all winter and sell stuff, for the person who worked in warm and cozy office all life was very hard. I guess you would do anything for your kids…My mother was taking care of me and my sisters returned to Georgia to study in university as nobody needed Georgians in Russia at that time.
It was very hard period, for my father especially, for my mother, for my sisters, and for me, couple of years of struggle did not pass by easy and my lungs caught all sorts of diseases, I was sick for two years in a row, my parents were so desperate that they thought I would not make It at some point, but somehow with the effort of my mom and her 24 hour care I got little by little better, which is also brilliant cause we could not afford a lot of doctors that time, so my health was in her hands.
After couple of years of struggle and starting from zero things finally fell into place everything became better! My father really worked hard to make things good and he did. At that time democracy started to show its roots in our home country, and my parents decided to turn back to Georgia.
They thought that my dad could regain his old job or find a better one, we were already living pretty good in Moscow, but for my parents something was always back in Georgia that they wanted to go back to.
Was not a best idea in the first place, cause my father did not find a job for long one year, they treated us like we cheated on our own country as we left, and nobody wanted any member of our family anywhere…sometimes I feel that attitude did not change till now…
anyway…after a year we finally settled down and life seemed to go back to normal, it was long ten years of losing everything and gaining and losing and gaining again…but that’s what life is, losing and gaining right?
I hope I didn’t bore you with all this, I do believe if I am going to write stories about my travels and life, it is important also for you to understand where I come from and how I come, because otherwise it would be impossible to understand some of decisions I make…
This was short and brief story of my childhood, before my sports career and travels started, but my childhood is the root of every step I take now as a person and that is exactly why I started with this.