EVELINA UTTERDAHL, is a eco warrior from Sweden traveling full time and so far, she has traveled to many countries alone. After a month-long trip to Iran, she has published her views on travel safety in Iran, especially for women traveling alone, in her website earthwanderess.com. Here is a selection of her content.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO IRAN?
IS IRAN SAFE?
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL THERE ALONE AS A GIRL?
WHAT IS IT LIKE HAVING TO WEAR HIJAB AND COVERING YOUR WHOLE BODY?
These are questions I’ve been getting multiple times a day during my month here in Iran. The question about what it’s like having to wear hijab and following Iran’s dress code comes as often from local people as from people outside of Iran. I know this is a very touchy and important subject for many people, and I will make a separate post discussing the clothing rules in Iran and my experience from wearing it along with what I’ve learned from my friends who live here and also from the one’s who have emigrated from Iran to other countries.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS IRAN SAFE TO TRAVEL TO?
Yes, yes and yes.
Despite of having a government most of the people disagree with …, they don’t have war or talibans as their neighbouring country Afghanistan to the east, nor do they have Daesh like their neighbour Iraq in the west(there were 2 attacks in Tehran recently that they did claim, but this was the first and hopefully the last. Daesh attacks haven’t stopped people from traveling to London, Nice or Paris so this shouldn’t be a reason for you to hesitate traveling to Iran either). Sure, this is a country that does have a history of war, violence and killings but time has moved forward and so has the country, especially the last few years. Along with western media being so easy accessible through social media more and more people are adapting that kind of lifestyle and getting their news and information from sources other than the ones controlled by the government the people living here knows more about the government. They don’t like the hijab forced upon women more than you do, and this is also a reason why so many young people choose to emigrate in hope of living a life with more freedom. However, many of them return because life outside of Iran isn’t so much more free than it is here except for the fact of not having to dress in a certain way.
PEOPLE HERE LOVE TOURISTS SO YOU WILL MOST LIKELY BE TREATED AS A QUEEN OR KING.
Unfortunately even here there is some hierarchy where white westerners sometimes are being treated better than tourists from ex. other asian countries as it is in many parts of the world. Although, it might not be very obvious as the ones who are interested in you will come up to you and ask you questions and want to talk, and those who are not too interested or too shy you won’t notice what they think about you. They seem to be interested in all people living outside of their country and want to hear about the place you’re from. (after all the shit white people have done through history I sometimes wonder how we can still be treated so well because of our skin colour)
THE ONLY REALISTIC DANGER IN IRAN IS THEIR DRIVING.
They drive like in video games where you don’t really have to follow the traffic rules. And they like to drive fast. Unless you’re a very good driver with excellent reflexes, I discourage you from trying to drive here yourself.
Not only would I answer yes to this, but I would also say it’s one of the most safe places for women to travel alone. In their culture, for good and for bad, women are in many ways treated like princesses that don’t even have to lift a finger in a lot of situations. Which for me has been challenging as I grew up in the somewhat feminist country Sweden where the culture is more that what men can do women can do too. But then of course we live in a world of male dominans and men have throughout history on humans always been the biggest threat to women’s lives. So just as you should be everywhere in the world, be careful, trust your gut, always be safe rather than sorry, avoid walking alone at night in shady areas etc. Make sure you have a local SIM card and always let someone know where you are and where you are going. If you take a car or taxi, take picture of register number and send it to a friend or at least pretend to, or just even pretend to take a photo when they can see.
But again I have to stress the fact that I have not felt this safe in many other countries. This is one of the countries I would recommend girls to travel to alone if they are worried about safety.
Read complete content in earthwanderess.com