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Published : Jun, 2023

Sites and attractions | Health and safety
Gay rights | Alborz Mountains | Mashhad Haram-e Razavi | Ancient Persepolis | Zoroastrian temple | Alamut Valley | Yazd | Bazaar shopping | Tehran | Esfahan | Social Media | Iranian visa | Rules | Safety
Gay Iran simply does not exist! For gay travelers wishing to visit, we strongly recommend you follow these simple rules to make your trip SAFE and fun.

This post was co-written with the awesome gay travel blogger Michael Demmons of TheRTWGuys who visited Iran as a solo LGBTQ traveler and shares his first-hand experience in this blog post.

Iran's human rights record is dire. There's no sugar-coating that. When it comes to LGBTQ rights, Iran is as bad as it can get! Most people who follow the news will have heard about the terrible punishments that Iran has imposed for people even suspected of being gay!

Published : Aug, 2021

How to get there | Sites and attractions | Health and safety
Sarhad-e Broghil | Afghan Consulate | Khorog | Dushanbe | Safety | The Wakhan Corridor | Permits
In August 2016 I traveled through Afghanistan as an American for two weeks, backpacking across the beautiful Pamir mountains in the Wakhan Corridor. This is how I did it.

DISCLAIMER: The US government warns against travel to Afghanistan. Just because I went, does not mean I think everyone should go. The safety situation changes on a weekly basis, and requires a good deal of research/planning.

When I told family & friends I was planning a trip to Afghanistan, they thought I’d lost my mind.

Afghanistan, the war-torn Central Asian (or Middle Eastern, depending on who you ask) country full of terrorists, soldiers, car bombs, predator drones, and IEDs.

Why the hell would I want to go there?

Afghanistan has been on my bucket list for a few years after I met a fellow traveler and public speaker Shane Dallas who happened to share his experience with me at a travel industry conference.

I learned that the version of the country most of us see each night on the evening news is simply not the full story…

Parts of Afghanistan can be dangerous, sure, but it’s also full of beauty, hospitality, and history too.

This is the Afghanistan I was on a mission to seek out and share.

Published : Jan, 2021

Sites and attractions | Suggested itinerary | Health and safety | Language | Any food | Cultural Activities | Outdoor Activities | Nature and wildlife | Shopping
Saudi Arabia basics | Hospitality & Gift-giving | Gender divides | Medina & Mecca | Travel Resources | Mobile Connectivity | Transportation | Money
Saudi Arabia has long been closed off for most travelers. Restrictive visa policies meant only Muslims—or oil industry workers—could visit. Even then, they could only visit a few places in the country.

Then everything changed in 2019. *Cue Avatar: The Last Airbender theme*
Saudi Arabia is currently making a big push to rebrand itself as a premier holiday destination in the Middle East. Part of that push involves a more open e-visa policy. This new visa regime makes it significantly easier for many nationalities to visit the country. It also allows pilgrims on Hajj and Umrah to travel beyond Mecca and Medina.

Whether or not Saudi Arabia is a top travel destination is another matter, but if you plan on visiting Saudi Arabia, you definitely need to come prepared to avoid offense. Read on to learn all the things I wish I’d known before traveling to Saudi Arabia!