IRANomad Responsible Travel

At some point in your life, you’ve probably given some thought on the ways our decisions and actions influence the world. In today’s modern world, nothing comes without a price, and even a concept as neutral or innocent-looking as travelling can come with a number of negative consequences. If we depend on the joy we get from travelling, we should also be aware of its not so joyful side, “economy”: tourism is considered as one of the major industries around the world and countless people’s livelihoods depend on it. That’s why being a responsible & sustainable traveller is now more important than ever. Because we’re faced with a multitude of people who want to travel, and if we’re not mindful of the effects we have on our host communities, they might gradually deteriorate. That’s when the essential role of a sustainable tourist, travelling responsibly comes into play. In IRANomad, our ultimate goal is to create a positive atmosphere between the travellers (guests) and the host communities and impact them both (without changing them or their lifestyle in any significant way) through our trips, we aspire to travel as eco friendly as possible and we hope you will join us in our nomadic odyssey. Make sure you stay up-to-date with the nomadic projects your trips are supporting.

What does sustainable travel mean and why does it matter?

Sustainable travelling means that as travellers we are responsible for the state of wellbeing and the changes that we make to our host country or community. That we should leave our travel destination in the same shape as (if not better than) we found it. As much as travelling can be a positive source of revenue and cultural exchange for the local communities, it can also be their end! Nowadays, many people want to take it up a notch and have a meaningful experience with the locals and at the same time have a clear conscience that they are doing the community well.

By Travelling with IRANomad you experience untouched natural landscapes, less travelled paths & authentic nomadic tribes and make meaningful connections with them. You are also contributing to a great cause: Preservation of Nomadic Heritage. You will make a difference to the world by your deep, slow, responsible travelling.

IRANomad & Sustainability

Iran is home to one of the world’s largest nomadic populations. Traditionally, all the nomads of Iran took part in Kooch or seasonal transhumance to find better pastures for their livestock and avoid scorching summers and harsh winters. Unfortunately, in the past decades, the number of nomads have been rapidly declining. In addition to that, even the nomads that have not yet migrated to cities are slowly setting aside their ancient lifestyle and are now living a sedentary lifestyle in villages. Only a small group of nomads in Iran still do the seasonal migration just like their ancestors did. It’s crucial to save these micro-cultures for many reasons:

  • First of all, when the nomads start to settle down in villages, they will soon deplete the water resources and face several problems.
  • When they migrate to cities, due to lack of education and financial assets many of them have to live in the slums and work very low-paid jobs.
  • Another huge consequence is the loss of an ancient culture and knowledge which is the fruit of thousands of years of living aligned with the surrounding nature. If the nomads set aside their lifestyle, all that practical knowledge will soon be lost as well. But according to Mr. Allan Savory’s ted talk “How to Fight Desertification”, nomadic life has another equally vital advantage for the environment, and that is the fact that herds of livestock in big numbers moving from pasture to pasture, mimic nature and can stop desertification. As he puts it “The ONLY option to fight desertification and reverse climate change is to use livestock bunched and moving as a proxy for former herds and predators and mimic nature. There is no other alternative for humankind.”

So, How Will Our Tours Help All That We Just Said Above?

These are the principles that we have in mind for these tours:

  • We always take a very small group of maximum 4 people to a nomadic family. In this way, we make sure that the nomads are allowed to continue on their normal life routine, uninterrupted, and our tourists can live with them and have a truly authentic experience.
  • To watch our carbon footprint, we usually go to our destination by car and try to board very few domestic airplanes (well, except your flight to Iran). The road trip to nomads’ land takes almost an entire day and is also a great chance for our travelers to bond and also to shop for fresh fruit picked by local producers on the towns and villages that we pass.
  • We do not interrupt their traditions or presume to know that what they do is “wrong” and what we know is right. We accept that they have a different culture but their lifestyle has sustained them for thousands of years, so we try not to upset its delicate balance.
  • Whenever possible, we try to talk to our nomadic partners on the importance of the environment and wildlife, and how all the animals play a part in the ecosystem.
  • Our nomadic partners always get a share from these tours and in this way, they can live more sustainably and not grow their herds in numbers that would deplete the environment.
  • We try to undo the decades of humiliation and undermining that the nomads have endured by emphasizing how their life is rich and meaningful and that we respect and honor their culture and way of life.
  • We make sure to connect with many nomad families so that they all have the chance to host tourists from time to time and not just become tourist workers and lose their actual culture among the way.
  • We make sure that the nomads are not “serving” us and we are not there to just look. We take part in their daily chores. We gather wood, fetch water, wash the dishes, and do anything that we can to fit in their lives and be as helpful as possible.