Welcome to My Home Online

Simply Saeed is a personal website dedicated to my stories, lessons and insights as a tour leader, English teacher and inquisitive Iranian. That’s me, Saeed, meaning ‘happy’. I’m here to live up to my name by simplifying and sharing what I do best.


What Can Simply Saeed Offer?

What I Do Best.

Travelling

Travel breaks the cycle of routine. You step out of your comfort zone and get a chance to reassess life. It’s much harder to do that when you’re stuck in a tangled web of appointments, deadlines and commitments. So you get away from it all and you try to make the most of it. Travel should allow you to think freely and return with ideas to make life more awesome. 

I was travelling (and getting lost) before I could walk or talk, and after I could do those, it got a whole lot easier. Since then I’ve explored Iran thoroughly and the world is next. I travel to create everlasting insightful experiences for myself and my companions. As a certified tour guide and practicing tour manager, I’m trained and equipped to do exactly that.

Here’s what Simply Saeed will cover in Travelling:

  • My travelogues: stories, photos, and videos of where I’ve been. I’ll relive the experience I had, what I discovered, the people I connected with…
  • Travel tips: techniques for exploring Iran, how to become travel-smart, tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way, …

Teaching

I like learning and I love helping people to learn. I try my best to impart knowledge more easily, quickly and efficiently than I learned it. That’s what I look for in a good teacher and I strive to be one. My expertise is in English. It’s practically my native language and I’ve done extremely well on different exams. I’ve also received teacher training (twice). I’ve taught general English classes, trained students for proficiency exams, and acted as a simultaneous two-way interpreter.

But that’s not all I’m going to be trying to teach. I’m always curious, so I’ll be busy learning, one way or another. I have a habit of summarising because it helps me review my knowledge should I need it later on down the road. I’m also good at explaining things simply, so a lot of people have benefitted from my notes over the years. Maybe our interests will coincide and you’ll find something handy.

Here’s what Simply Saeed will cover in Teaching:

  • English: tips for learning & usage, the TOEFL iBT & IELTS exams’ format & techniques, …
  • Farsi: the basics including alphabet, numbers, everyday expressions, …
  • What I’m learning: the harmonica, Deutsch (German), tour manager courses, random bouts of curiosity, …

Writing

Writing is my passion. It’s my method of introspection and expression. I write because it helps me make sense of my diverse (often chaotic) life and enables me to get back in touch with myself in the midst of it all. I share because it’s entertaining, enlightening and empowering – so I’ve been told. That’s why the beating heart of Simply Saeed is the blog.

Here’s what Simply Saeed will cover in Writing:

  • Diary: It’s not every day you come across an Iranian on the internet who’s bilingual. Simply Saeed can give you a peek into the Iranian lifestyle, even if it is a subjective account of ordinary and adventurous days.
  • Personal Development: We get to choose our actions, discipline ourselves into habits and progress. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. That requires reviewing my current habits and finding ways to refine them. Talking about them out loud might hold me accountable – or not!
  • Conversations with Myself: That was how I started writing in the first place. I don’t write everything with an external audience in mind; sometimes, I address myself. These inner dialogues usually yield interesting insights, but not all of them can be shared. After all, it is my personal website, remember? 

Why Choose Simply Saeed?

How I do what I do.

For starters, Simply Saeed tells it like it is, honestly. I don’t have an agenda. I’m not an advertiser for a travel agency, or a teacher desperate for students, and I’m certainly not running away from a mundane life. But I am only human, prone to making mistakes and learn better. If I change my opinion over time, I’ll be straightforward about it.

Then there’s my hands-on attitude. Theory alone can’t cut it for me. I prefer to get my hands dirty and learn through experience and experiment. I make claims to things I’ve personally tried and tested, no more. If I recommend a place, it’s because I was there and felt it was worth the visit. If I suggest a technique, it means I’ve gotten results from putting it into practice and refining it.

At last, allow me to let you in on a little secret: I’m a perfectionist. Does that mean I’m perfect? Hell no! Perfection is an abstract ideal, but one that’s worth the effort. What it means is that when I get down to doing something, anything, I give it my all. It takes a lot of work before I produce something I’m personally satisfied with it. So if it’s on the site, it’s solid. And if you’re a lucky client, you can rest assured that I’ll deliver what you’ve asked for to the best of my ability.

I’m humble at heart, so I find talking about myself mildly uncomfortable. Besides, why do it myself when my reputation speaks for itself? Part of that you can find by paying me a visit on social media where I’m also active. Alternatively, you can take a look at the testimonials to see what people say about me and my services.


The Philosophy of Simply Saeed

Why I do what I do.

Mystics say the Truth is a shattered mirror and everyone sees the world through the fragment they hold. I’m passionately curious to explore and experience all mine has to offer. But I also believe in piecing the Truth together, thus overcoming each individual’s blind spots, mine included. By choosing to share our perspectives of the world, we can connect them through the similarities and learn from the differences with tolerance.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Circumstances are influential, but not determining.

That’s up to me.

When life gets hard, I think of it as a story – let’s say personal legend. I imagine getting through that difficulty “somehow” and then recounting it. Would I enjoy that story? I will if I know I’ve tried my best. I’ve gotten through plenty of rough times with that mindset and I know challenges lie ahead. That’s natural when you aim high.


Who Is Simply Saeed?

Simply Saeed's Smile

Don’t believe everything you read and only half of what you see. The fun half!

My name is Saeed Daneshmandi which means ‘happy wise dude‘ in Farsi(cool, eh?). By the way, it’s pronounced Sa-eed, like sand & need. I was born in Iran back in ’89 and raised in Manchester, UK for 5 years. I was always a curious kid and my time with the Brits taught me there’s more than one way of seeing this enormous, colourful, surprise-filled world – oh, and English too, naturally. Our family returned to my hometown, Rasht, months short of the millennium and (even though we missed the bloody celebrations) I’m glad we did. My knowledge of the world expanded and life has never been the same.

A lot has happened since then:

  • earning an engineering bachelor at the University of Tehran;
  • starting a master’s at another top national university before dropping out;
  • dabbling in countless fields of interest as a multipotentialite;
  • working as a salesman, translator, teacher, guide, writer, etc.;
  • seeing all 19+2 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran;
  • finding friends all over the world via AIESEC, Couchsurfing & tours;
  • receiving admission to a university in the US & deciding not to go;
  • pursuing a career in tourism as a tourist guide, trip organiser and tour manager;
  • and plenty more which you can see in detail on my life’s timeline.

That’s just a quick recap of my story, but I’ve rewritten it 31 32 times so far! I’ve walked down many roads in my lifetime – often taking the ones less travelled – and coming up with a comprehensive description or an endless list simply won’t do. After all, it’s named Simply Saeed for a reason: this site IS me, my life in writing. So I invite you to try my approach to finding answers: wandering into the unknown and discovering it for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Get lost!

Not all those who wander are lost

“Seek and ye shall find.”