In 2013, my wife is Iranian so we took two weeks to visit her country. She made me discovered a country that is far less dangerous than what most people imagine. I had no problems visiting different cities from Iran, from Tehran to Isfahan, and learnt a lot from the Persian culture.
It was very interesting to talk to people there as they were explaining how it is difficult to live there with all the sanctions, laws and censorship. Most young people use big studies as a way to leave the country : I talked to some future doctors, architects, artists… and even some indie games developers !
I was shocked by how the censorship simply doesn’t work :
– it is illegal to buy and drink alcohol there, yet it is very easy to get some and people drink way more than in Europe
– most websites like facebook or Google are blocked, but yet everyone got a VPN access at home (even public administrations got their own facebook pages)
What I mostly take from this trip is that there is a big difference between what this country is and what people imagine by simply watching some random news about the middle east (most people confuse Iran and Iraq). And that is why travelling is so important : it is a great way to be more open minded.