Going back home: the trip of a lifetime (Part 1)

It’s slowly setting in: my trip to Iran is now mere days away. The trip that has been looming over my head since early August is now becoming a fast and hard reality. Up until this point, I never took the trip too seriously. It almost seemed surreal to me that I would leave the country for over two weeks to stay in some foreign land that I knew so little about. I always know that “going back home” to Iran was a major possibility for my family, but I never thought it would actually happen. There have been many plans to do so in past, but this it’s for real. The plane tickets are reserved, the hotel rooms are booked, the clothing is sorted out and the luggage is resting in our dining room, just waiting to be filled with our possessions.

The whole purpose of this trip is to go back to my dad’s homeland and to see where he grew up. While in Iran, we are going to visit a lot of my extended family like my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. For me, this will be the first time that I’ve ever met most of my family.

Now there is a nervous excitement in the air at my house. The topic of seemingly every conversation is focused on our major trip to the Middle East; no one can stop talking about it. Whether it’s a nervous speculation about how different the culture will be or excited about the Iranian wedding we’ll be going to, it seems like we’ll never have a conversation about anything else until we return to America.

Had we been going anywhere else in the world, I would have accepted the trip with arms wide open. But Iran is a country that will really take me out of my comfort zone. For my two weeks in Iran, everything that I’ve grown accustomed to in the U.S. will do a complete 180 degree turn from what I know, everything from the way I dress to the way I act will have to be modified to fit the culture there.

Overall, I’m really excited to go to Iran. It will be an amazing experience to visit my dad’s homeland to learn more about his ethnicity. I am confident that this will be a trip of a lifetime.