I just completed a 14 day trip around Persia with G Adventures, and much to my surprise, Iran is not (at all) what I thought it’d be like! Contrary to popular belief, Iran is extremely safe, with the most friendly people I’ve ever met who went out of their way to make sure I was safe and having a good time. I have no incentive to lie to you about this — it is just the 100% truth.
Before I dive in any further, please take 2 minutes to watch this video — which currently has 4+ million views as I write this:
When we (Americans) think about Iran, we tend to only think of negative things such as terrorism. But what about the 80 million innocent locals who live across this fascinating country? And all the history the land contains? This is Iran at its core – hospitality and history – and I’m excited to give you a glimpse of what I just experienced.
This trip was the second that I have taken with G Adventures (the first was to Tajikistan & Uzbekistan last year) — and all I can say is positive things about my experience with G. The schedule on our Iran trip was a perfect mixture of sightseeing and free time, while we moved around to Iran’s most historical cities. Looking back, I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend 14 days in Persia (for a detailed look at our day-to-day itinerary, click this link). Our group had 12 members, representing 9 different countries from Mexico to New Zealand to to the U.S. to Germany, and our guide, Amin, was a really cool dude who knows everything about Persia and Persian history. Amin has turned into one of my good friends!
Here is a photo of our group, followed by a photo of Amin and I!
Soon after I arrived in Iran, I learned that the wifi situation is extremely slow, and therefore, I would be unable to upload daily videos like I usually do. While I was originally frustrated, it ended up being a good thing – I was able to stress less and fully enjoy my time in Iran.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my top 5 favorite things about Iran, and whenever necessary, I will embed a video that is related to what I am talking about. If you want to see all 14 videos that I made in Iran, please do so on my Facebook and/or YouTube pages.
Favorite Things About Iran
No matter how many Instagram posts and videos I make about the friendliness of the people, it still won’t do justice by how over the top they truly are! If you take away anything from this blog post, please let it be that Persians are the most hospitable, kind and humble people that I’ve met in all my travels to 139 countries.
I interacted with as many locals as I could, and not once on any occasion was I disrespected or even looked at funny. I even told people that I was both American and Jewish, and it made them even more interested to get to know me. I was invited (dozens of times) into peoples’ houses for a cup of tea and even offered a bed to sleep in. One time in Isfahan, I walked into a hardware store in the evening and the owner wouldn’t let me leave because he wanted to talk to me all night and he kept feeding me tea! I made many good friends while in Iran, and I can’t wait to go back and visit them all someday soon.
The Historical Sites
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Human activity in this country dates back 40,000 years — and evidence of these ancient humans can be found in select places in Iran. My favorite historical sites were Persepolis and the Rayan citadel. Persepolis was the former capital of the great Persian empire, which was ordered by Darius the Great is 515 BC. The site today, which is partly in ruins and patly in tact, is organized by about a dozen columns with extremely detailed inscriptions on the stone. The Rayan citadel is another built-up city from the same time frame, but it’s more compact and set alongside a beautiful mountain range. It was abandoned soon after it was built, but the buildings are still remarkable to witness. Both Persepolis and the Rayan Citadel are 2 of 22 UNESCO sites in Iran!