Despite travelling solo through Shiraz, Persepolis, Yazd, Isfahan and Tehran, I found I was never really alone in Iran.

I could barely walk more than a few metres without meeting yet another Iranian begging to show me their city; inviting me into their homes, insisting on buying me tea and most of all, desperate to change the world’s view of Iranian people.

Iranians are exceedingly friendly, warm, intelligent people who have found their own way to live under the country’s strict regime.

My everyday encounters with them, from shopping for a manteau (the modest coat worn by Iranian women) in Shiraz or catching a night train to Tehran with a mother and daughter, to drinking wine with an Isfahani family in their home, were unforgettable.

As published in Sydney Morning Herald Traveller:

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