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Iran

I love Rick’s advice about Europe, but you need to use your own common sense when he starts raving about traveling to Iran. Go there at your own risk. Look at State Department advisories and warnings. Don’t put your own well being in Rick’s hands...and please don’t end up like these poor souls: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-49670973

Posted by
244 posts

I'm guessing Rick Steves's purpose in his Iran special and continued discussion of his experience there is more focused on his audience's awareness and understanding than it is him suggesting that they all pick up and plan a trip to Iran. If I remember correctly, he does talk about the limitations and challenges involved in being there in his special.

Think of it this way - lots of people love Rick Steves, and are comfortable or have become more comfortable with the idea of European travel. However, I'm guessing many of his fans (certainly not all, but many) would hesitate to go somewhere else internationally. Nevertheless, they're likely to watch his shows, and so he has a platform to show people more about places they may know very little about. Shows like the Iran special become cultural diplomacy to increase understanding, not necessarily an endorsement of it as a travel destination.

That being said, people need to do their research and be aware of what's at stake - being a tourist doesn't protect you from danger, and sometimes the consequences can be particularly grave.

Posted by
6411 posts

That Iran special was done 10 years ago. A lot has change since then. And something reported on the news does not always mean you are going to be a victim, or that a place is bad.

Posted by
244 posts

OP, I think the show was probably uploaded on YouTube in 2014 but it was released in 2009.

Posted by
2664 posts

Well said Amy. He was most likely invited by Iran to put a good face on the country. He was extremely limited where he could go and what he could take photos of, and was always accompanied by at least one government official who could shut the filming down at any moment. He pretty much says that in the special. Anybody watching it should pick up on those less than subtle clues. I hate to think people think it’s a safe place to travel to, especially with the way relations currently stand between the U.S. and Iran. Anybody who decides to knowingly travel there does so at their own risk, but if something goes wrong, they will probably say the government didn’t do enough to get them out of whatever predicament that got themselves into.

Posted by
10909 posts

Its a place I would love to visit. Someday ..............................

Posted by
244 posts

Agreed! I know that Americans do go now (for example, Intrepid Travel offers guided tours), but my personal risk comfort zone means waiting and hoping for less strained diplomatic relations and something less than a Level 4 travel rating.

Posted by
244 posts

Geovagriffith, I know you are meaning to be sarcastic here, but Afghanistan is also said to be gorgeous. I find myself coming back to the same idea - it can be possible for a place to be risky, dangerous, or unadvisable due to war, diplomatic conflict, natural disaster, and any number of other reasons, but that doesn't necessarily make that place, its culture, or its people unworthy. Lots can change with time.

Posted by
10909 posts

One of the reasons to get out and see the world is to become educated enough to avoid making ignorant statements. Ignorance being the lack of knowledge and education; as opposed to stupid, the lack of .....

And while Iran is currently a bit too far over the edge for my comfort level, there is a lot to be learned by visiting countries that are in the middle of some sort of transistion or sitting in the middle of a troubled region. Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Ukraine all come to mind. Maybe even Belarus and Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.... Oh, much tamer, but in the same thread, Bosnia & Herzegovina or Kosovo. These are all on my list for the next 36 months....

Posted by
321 posts

Bosnia or Kosovo much "tamer" than Belarus or Azerbaijan?
Well, I guess it might be true if we treat the dictionary definition of "tame" creatively enough...

Posted by
157 posts

People tend to forget how quickly time changes things.

Not too long ago, gorgeous and popular destinations like Colombia, South Korea, Vietnam and Bosnia-Herzegovina were considered too dangerous to travel to.

Iran is easily in my top 10 countries to see before I die. I'm still in my 20s, so I'm optimistic that will happen.

Unfortunately, people who are much older than I may not feel so lucky. We can only hope that our "leaders" finally get it together and create some amicable solution.

Conversely, it's also important to realize how quickly things can devolve. If you have the chance to travel somewhere, take it. Look at the Cathedrale de Notre Dame, for example. You never know what's going to happen.