Some ladies have been asking this question. One of them is planning a trip from the UK to Turkey and maybe farther east through Iran, Pakistan and India. Her parents are worried.
This is what I responded:
I don't think you should avoid the Middle-East if it's a region you would like to visit. The people are some of the friendliest people on earth. I know several ladies who traveled solo through the Middle-East and were totally fine and had a blast.
You might find that men in eastern Turkey can be a little annoying. Just be firm, and you should not have any problem. It is true that you have to cover your hair, neck, shoulders, arms and legs in Iran. But people in Iran are very respectful.
I heard more stories of girls being harrassed in Italy than in the Middle-East! It doesn't mean that Italy should be avoided...
I would say, go for it, the world is a much safer place than it seems... especially with the way the media portrays it.
A couple of years ago it was almost impossible to get a visa for Iran with a British or American passport. The United States and Iran have not had any official diplomatic relations for 3 decades.
If you want make your parents feel better, you can still use a Spot Satellite Messenger http://www.findmespot.com/en/
. It allows you to send "I'm safe signals" whenever you want and wherever you are, or an emergency signal, should the need arrive. Your family and friends can even follow you on google earth. I think it's a good option to make relatives feel better. It will be soon available at CycloCamping.com.
has bicycle touring journals for the same route you are planning to ride, in case you want some additional info.
Believe me, you will have the best time of your life! Go for it!
What do you guys think? Any ladies with some experience?