GeoEx Staff Reports from Iran
GeoEx staff members return regularly to stay in touch with the goings-on in Iran, to find ways to make our Group and Custom Trips more enriching and more comfortable, and to nurture our longstanding relationships with our Iran travel guides. Here is a snapshot of what they are finding.
Iranians Are as Fascinated by Us as We Are by Them
GeoEx CEO Jean-Paul Tennant recently returned happy to report that his expectations were exceeded. Not only did he feel safe 100 percent of the time, but people were also kind and open to him. Revealing he was American, “they would say, ‘USA? We love Americans! I have a cousin in Los Angeles! Come to my house—I will feed you dinner!’ A few people just came up to us and said ‘I love you’ out of the blue.”
Safer Than We Are Led to Believe
Destination specialist Linda de la Torre returned from a scouting trip in Iran with stories of hospitality and surprises. She also commented: “As Americans traveling in Iran, safety is on our minds from the minute we begin planning the trip. I was pleased to see the openness of the culture and was able to enjoy absolutely everything without worrying.” She advises interested travelers not to believe everything you read about Iran, that things have changed dramatically since the turbulent years of the 1970s, and to go soon because things are changing.
Perfect for Travelers Who Seek a Genuine Adventure
Urs Hofmann first set foot on Iranian soil 10 years ago and was immediately impressed and overwhelmed by the generosity, affability, and openness of Iranians. Since then, he's been five times and he can't wait to go back. He says, “The local people, in combination with the stunning architecture, the impressive landscapes, the delicious food, and the (still mostly untouched by mass tourism) historical sites make Iran the perfect destination for travelers who seek a real and genuine adventure.”
Experiences of Kindness & Hospitality
Glenn Ringer recalls an experience he had when he took a little detour on his way to the historic mountain village of Masouleh: “As we walked down the country lane, a man came out of his home and asked our Iran travel guide about us. Then his wife emerged with a pot of hot tea and fresh fruit from the garden. We had a wonderfully interesting chat about their lives as rural farmers in Iran and about their excitement regarding warming relations between our two countries. I will always remember their kindness and hospitality. I keep one of the walnuts they gave in my kitchen me as a token of this meaningful exchange.”
Amazed by the Warm Welcome & by Esfahan
Scott Montgomery remembers: “When I think of my Iran travel experience, I think first of the people. In the more than 120 countries I have visited, I don’t think I have ever felt as warmly welcomed as I did in Iran. Without exception, everyone I met was kind and helpful. Esfahan is certainly one of the most incredible cities anywhere. The UNESCO World Heritage Site designation is well-deserved—there's incredibly beautiful architecture everywhere you look. The magnificent Naqsh-e Jahan Square took my breath away. Iran's history is so rich and the sights so varied, I wish I had more time there to take everything in.”