Everything Looks Different From Far Away

When you leave your corner of the country the houses look a little different. A different building material, a different way of positioning the garage, a different angle to the roof. Suddenly, you realize that there are many ways to build a house and the way you’ve always seen houses isn’t the way they have to be.

Different parts of the country have different trees and different landscaping. They have rocks instead of grass. Palm trees instead of Evergreens.

It changes the way you think, these subtle differences. It kick starts something in your brain that makes you see everything differently.

This is why I want to travel. But, I don’t just want to see the differentness (that really isn’t all that different) in this country. I want to leave the country and go somewhere so completely different than what I’m used to.

Things don’t have to be the way they are. They can be better. They can be worse. They can just be different.

I like different. I want to seek it out and embrace it.

I’ve had the idea recently that I want to go to Iran. I’ve been voraciously reading people’s stories of traveling there and it has only served to stoke the fire. There aren’t many places on earth that would be so different from the United States, mostly because the picture of Iran that’s painted by the media isn’t the picture of the real Iran. Even reading the descriptions of the people and the culture in books isn’t the same as experiencing it. Reading the trip stories from people who have been there isn’t the same as being there myself.

I want to tell people how friendly Iranians are. I want to describe what it’s like to wear a head covering when I’m out in public. I just want to know what it’s like to be there.

I’ve long been fascinated by the Middle East, yet I’ve always accepted that I couldn’t go there because of their views of women and because the Middle East is unsafe in its un-Westernness. I think that’s just silly.

I feel like it’s where I need to go to seek out the differentness that I want, and Iran is among the most fascinating of the places I dream of seeing.

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