Concur Your Fears with Kooch
Have you ever wanted to do something out of your comfort zone? Something out of the ordinary, maybe even something that your friends and family would not approve of? For some people traveling to Iran and joining the nomadic transhumance might be one of those out-of-comfort-zone experiences. Our fears and comfort zones sometimes act in strange ways. You might be the kind of person that loves travel and outdoor adventures and far-off places. But when you hear about a travel opportunity, suddenly it gets hard to decide to go. This is absolutely normal. So we thought to address some of the most prevalent fears with kooch when it comes to traveling with IRANomad Tours. Keep reading this to see if you find any of your own fears in the following lines & how you can overcome your fears with kooch:
1. Travel regulations, AKA, can I get a visa?
Yes, in almost 99% of cases, you can. The tourist visa process for citizens of the USA, UK, and Canada can take a bit longer, but in almost all cases, there is nothing holding you back from visiting Iran. PS. Of course right now because of Covid, traveling to Iran is only available for journalism purposes.
2. What about Covid19?
Covid19 is still a major problem in Iran, but on the other hand, you can use this opportunity to travel in small groups to Iran’s diverse natural landscapes and villages. That’s why visiting the nomads in Iran is very safe, Covid-wise.
3. But I’ve never hiked before! Can I still experience life with the nomads?
Yes, you can! We have varying levels of tours that are perfect for people of different physical fitness. The most important requirement is to have a love for nature, people, and cultures! All the rest can be fixed. For example, there are nomad families that do a slower version of Kooch, while some others take more difficult routes and do it faster. And even if you find yourself drained during the hike, our guides will cheer you on every step of the way.
4. How can I enjoy the nature when I haven’t had a shower for 5 days?
A valid fear, yet we must remind ourselves that not showering, albeit uncomfortable, is not fatal and this experience is meant to show us how nomads live, with all their hardships and challenges. Think of it as an easier version of the “Survivor” contest. You can find ways to clean up if you come upon a river, or you just have to make-do with wet-wipes and splashes of water and changing your clothes until the hiking part is over.
5. I am worried I might not like the food.
Getting used to foreign food is difficult for everyone, but as much as we try to stick to a nomadic diet while we’re with the nomads, we do bring lots of canned food with us that can more or less resemble the food you eat at home. The truth is, by the end of a day spent hiking with the nomads in the Zagros mountains, you will be hungry enough to devour any kind of food and feel satisfied. Plus, once we’re in the cities, trying authentic Iranian food has proved to be a favorite among all the travelers.
6. How would I survive without internet and phone service?
Even though being disconnected from your loved ones might make them worried for your wellbeing, you can ensure them that you are safe and you will check in with them as soon as the outdoor part of the trip is over. We usually reach a hill where phone service works every two days or so, and when we do, you can send a quick message, or we can send a message on your behalf to your family. You can look at it as a mandatory escape from the online world. Disconnect, and let your mind truly unplug from your other every day worries.
7. Is there a threat of wild animals where we camp at night?
The Zagros region has some bears, coyotes and foxes, but since we sleep where the nomads set up camp, there is no chance that bears would venture so close to where several humans have set up tents. Also, all through the night, the men of the nomad family keep watch around the fire in turn, to stop the wild animals and potential sheep-thieves from approaching.
8. I’m worried I might not be able to form connections with the nomads!
The nomads, just like Iranian people in general, are extremely warm-hearted people that love to host guests. It takes a little bit of time for them to warm up to you, but usually after having a cup of tea around the fire, smiling, and participating in the chores, they will be as loving to you as they are to their own family members. We have seen, many times, that by the end of our trip, both sides are shedding tears and exchanging promises to come back and visit again. Also, the translators/guides won’t leave you alone, and they will help you carry out conversations and form a true bond with the nomads. They are just as curious to learn about your life, as you are about theirs.