Being completely disconnected on holiday isn’t as romantic as some purist travellers may suggest. It might be fine if you plan to stay on a beach or spend your days snorkelling with dolphins, but if you have to navigate your way around a country, travelling without access to GPS-assisted maps, currency converters and email seems a silly restriction. Especially when travelling in a country like Iran. Here, the private and public spheres are two completely different worlds and access to social media can make the difference between merely learning about heritage through visits to historical sites and experiencing the everyday lives of modern Iranians. It was how I came to be at a party in Tehran among a crowd of good-looking, fashionable millennials: men, women, gay, straight. The obligatory hijabs were left at the door. On the kitchen table, there were unmarked bottles of aragh saghi – literally, dog alcohol – a moonshine made from raisins. People were dancing, drinking, and discussing whether it was time to call a drug dealer. Before I embarked on my month-long trip to Iran, Iranian friends suggested I use social media to guide my travels through the Islamic Republic. Even during the first two… Read full this story
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