I was asked to submit a piece to the publication A Girls Guide to Travelling Alone: Inspiring true tales from solo women travellers.
Editor Gemma Thompson was struck by the fact that so many of the books she packed, the travel narratives that accompanied her on the road, were written by men. Feeling that she herself would have loved a female perspective she went ahead and put together this collection. With stories by both professional and amateur writers, this on-the-road companion includes witty, inspiring, challenging and sometimes uncomfortable travel tales that have been written by women of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds and experiences.
I chose to write about visiting Iran. I felt compelled to share a story of my experience in a country that was so at odds with so many of the perceptions people have. The kindness of the people was never ending and the welcome I received was extraordinary. The fashion stakes were high – I even received lessons in eye liner application from some young ladies on the train. I was assured on a number of occasions ‘we are not like our government.’ Along with the fun, the make up and the parties, many of the women I met were very open about the difficulties they face, from the headscarves they have to wear to the difficulties of being anyway independent or living alone. The story I chose to tell was of being at a party in Iran. I enjoyed an evening of chatting, dancing and eating in a roomful of friendly people and hope to go back and do it all again some day.
Stay posted – I will include an extract from the story in a later post.