Note:  Richard Best had hoped to travel with Global Exchange on a tour scheduled for September, 2009.  
Because of low interest, Global Exchange canceled that trip.  Undaunted, Richard  joined 14 other travelers
on a tour of Iran (arranged by Travel Concepts International Inc) and enjoyed many days of travel in
November, 2009.  Here are his general impressions:

On 11/21/09 6:51 AM, Richard Best <> 

It is unfortunate that the September Global Exchange trip had to be canceled.

Fortunately, I was able to tour Iran with the same local guide that would have led the Global Exchange Tour and it was one one the best and most attentive local tour organizations I have experienced.

I hope everyone who missed the last tour will take the next opportunity to visit Iran. Everyone considering the tour is aware of the rich cultural heritage and ancient civilizations as well as the unique position that Iran occupies in South Asia and Middle East. You may not know how hospitable the Iranian people are or how delicious the traditional Persian food is.

No matter where we went there was one constant: Americans receive a warm welcome from the Iranian people. I have traveled to many countries and have never heard a native say that they love Americans. In Iran, I heard it continually from old and young, in large cities and small, in all areas of the country.

Many assumed we were Europeans and I was told that Germany, France and Italy are Iran's biggest trading partners. Their faces and gestures revealed that they were both surprised and delighted to learn that we were Americans.  

In visiting many historical sites we encountered Iranian students who were the most enthusiastic in greeting us and welcoming us to their country. They expressed a desire to meet with American students and a hope that relations between the countries would normalize.

Iran is a young, well educated, and Internet savvy country. It has much to offer and much to benefit from improved relations with the United States. Its people want the same things Americans want.  Our common interests reveal that we need Iran and they need us.

I am anxious to return to Iran and see all the things that time did not permit the first time.                                  

Richard E. Best

Please feel free to forward these comments to anyone who might be considering a trip to Iran