We Went to... Iran!

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself” by Earl Nightingale. Let me be honest, Don’t judge a book by its cover was a little too mainstream and I’d like to quote it from someone different, with the same meaning but different words :) Iran is a place where you should not judge them or label them and yes! It’s impossible for others to make zero internal judgments about them. Humans, every time we meet someone new or find something new, it is normal for others to judge them. Judgments are expectations based on our mindsets and then most of us have a bunch of questionnaires or create attitudes towards others, that’s totally normal! Here are some examples that we could make; “is he Mexican?”, “is she nine?”, and etc. Which is totally fine… and I can’t just tell everyone to stop judging others which could be impossible, it's the same thing as telling you to look at the sentence WITHOUT reading it…


(DON’T READ ME, DON’T READ ME, DON’T READ ME)


See? It’s totally impossible for you to look at it without reading it :) I’m here to remind all of you to have faith in others and let them do their thing. Try to understand them, everything in this world such as wars, problems, issues, and etc. We lack the amount of communication which causes a lot of misunderstandings. We need to let them speak for themselves before others start gossiping or discussing something that is unnecessary. Not long after your issue could contain a bunch of misleading statements. So to all those people out there, after you speculate or give an assumption about others make sure and try to have faith in them… let them speak and explain the things that they do, why does it matter? Why it became an issue towards others? And many more.


Iran, Iran was one of the countries that I have never thought in my whole entire life… I would be able to visit. I heard a lot of rumors about Iran, about what’s currently happening in Iran about the terrorists, the people there, and the country itself. Apart of me thinks that what they said could be right, about the bombing and what’s happening in their country. But also a part of me thinks that what if the same thing happened to me in Pakistan? Of how I see Pakistan with my two bare eyes, I see Pakistan as one of the most peaceful and helpful countries in the whole entire world that I have been to. At this point, I was thinking about the same thing too, what if the same thing happened? Bad things that I hear about Iran are different from what I see?


The second we got to Iran from Pakistan, I was still a bit terrified but I was okay with it. I’m fine now! At the point where we’re finished with the border of Pakistan and moving on to Iran… it was one of the hardest times :( I was really sad about leaving Pakistan, I really was. I already miss the long hour drives even though we still have a long way to go! But I already missed Pakistan very much. Then the second we were waiting for the immigration process, we’ve met our friend Hamid! He’s our lifesaver, we really need him at this point, we were very clueless. Hamid is always loved to help and get through immigration for tourists! Even though he lives far from the border.


We didn’t even contact Hamid and he was there! Isn’t that incredible? Among other overlanders, Hamid is known as the “King of The Border in Sistan Baluchistan Province”. He works for the Iran Tourism Department. Therefore, In Iran and Pakistan, it has been very hot, as in HOT HOT HOT! My mom, if she gets out of the car she had to get back in, she has to pull her sleeves out and open the door that way. My mom said that “it felt like having a hairdryer burst right at your hand with the highest heat!”. We’re very honored to be able to meet Hamid! As we get into immigration, me, my sister, and gemma. We forgot to use the right attire, so we head back in the car to get a headscarf and our jackets. We were a little terrified at that point, but it’s alright. After the immigration, we head to the hotel. Later on that night, Hamid asked us to do a little shoot with him at a Museum, specifically the history of Iran. What were we doing there? Make sure you stay tuned for the book!


But then on the process of the shoot, there were some other times and the person that was in this marvelous and amazing store decided to give us a souvenir for the shoot. As we finished shooting, we thought that it was just a warm gesture to look good for the people. But at a point where we were about to leave and he said “you forgot your souvenir!” we thought that it was just a really small gesture to show to the world but in this case, they’re actually giving it to us! We couldn’t thank them better, and we couldn’t be happier.


Oh! In Iran, we are also suggested to use a VPN. Hence, all connections such as Youtube, other websites, Instagram, and more are blocked from the United States. Therefore, all their connection with the majority of the world is blocked. But even though they’re blocked, they’re able to access to certain things and they’re able to live happily! With the majority of the things that they have :) They may lack the number of things or lost trends in this world but they’re living their best life, their very happy! We were told by other overlanders that as you enter Iran, you should be prepared with a lot of cash because they don’t have credit cards and if they do, it’s only available for their people.


This is one of our hardest times… when we were in Bam, Bejo has added fuel instead of diesel. Do you know what can happen? Bejo can explode! Wonder how it ended up? Stay tuned for the Book! We also met one of our favorite people, it was definitely a miracle to meet them! We were in a really bad situation at that point, therefore Bejo’s gearbox broke and something with his oil tank broke too. There was no Mitsubishi Pajero with our kind in Iran, thankfully Mahsa & Farshad appeared. We were very thankful to have them, so what happened next? Stay Tune for the Book!


During our long walks in Tabriz, Iran. At night Mahsa said, “I used to walk the streets by myself at 1:00 am in the morning and at was fine”. I was worried about her if anything went wrong but she said nothing was wrong. I have also experienced it with my family walking at night! I have spotted that throughout the whole time in Iran, I have never spotted any homeless people sleeping in front of the store or any of those, no. I have never and if I could see it again, I would love to. No matter their current Status Quo, where connections were being been taken by a bunch of countries, from what I see they’re able to live happily :)


Once, we were a couple of days away from crossing to Turkey. We were in Tabriz, there was news that pops up in the TV, therefore the United States of America’s President, Donald J. Trump. “The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero Truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!”. Meanwhile, as I saw outside the hotel’s window… Iranian people are doing their normal daily activities, nothing is wrong. Even though their economy is down, their relationship with other countries is not as good, and people have bad perspectives of Iran. They’re still able to survive with the slightest bit that is left, they’re able to still be happy, and live happily. Therefore, we all should know that we all should make this world a better place and break these borders, find new perspectives to see, look in a different way, be open-minded, and be able to help one another.


One of the things that I love about Iran is that here the people are very loyal :) especially men in Iran are very loyal and have great respect for women, they care a lot about women. This is what I want the world to know, Iranian people aren’t like who you think they are, they’ll help you when you don’t know where to go, they’ll direct you. They don’t even want to get paid because they just want to have dinner with you, they choose dinner and spending time with people rather than money, because they know they’re not going to repeat the decision they’re going to make. Let me tell you something, we need more people like that in this world, we need people who’ll choose majority love and family rather than a piece of paper that has a huge amount of money. We need people who care about the world and would risk it to make it a better place.


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- Alhea Houtman