A trip to Iran is about uncovering what you don’t see in media.
While I was in Tunisia earlier this year, I frequently thought about my trip to Iran two years ago. Why? There’s something incredibly mystical about the Middle East, hence every time I visit an Islamic region is a wonderful surprise. Unfortunately, the preconceived notion of Islamic culture if often depicted by images of terrorists, bombs, and bloodshed. The locals, however, cannot be further from such horrid portrayal.
My first morning in Isfahan, I was alone in my hotel room and heard the prayer call at 5 a.m. As many times as I’ve heard it before, or even as a devout Buddhist, the adhan – the Islamic call to prayer – has always kindled peace inside of my spirit.
I’m not sure how many locals came up to me and asked to take photos. Later, our guide explained that not many Iranians see Asians outside of TVs or books, so they were intrigued. Their excitement for spotting a real life Asian was even more evident when we visited famous landmarks and groups of young girls on a school field trip came running toward me and asked for selfies. I relished in the enthusiasm, not for the attention, but for the innocence outpouring from their tiny bodies.
The modern day definition of a “getaway” is attached to the idea of glamour. In this case, an Iranian getaway is filled with glitz and opulence from the glorious Persian Empire. Mosques adorned with mirror glass mosaics, the extravagant Palace of Golestan and Sa’dabad left my eyes hankering for more bejeweled edification.
Traveling is about discovery. A trip to Iran is about uncovering what you don’t see in our media. It’s so much more electrifying to witness the reality with your own pair of impartial eyes.