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Perth travel bloggers detained in Iran vow to hit the road again a year after gunpoint arrest

“A lot can happen in 12 months,” they said. “Tonight, June 30th, at midnight, it will be 12 months before the minute we were taken from our beds at gunpoint. We could provide more information shortly on what actually happened.”

Mr. Firkin and Ms. King were arrested by security forces in June last year for allegedly flying a drone, which they often did to find the perfect photo. This time they launched it near a military area in Jajrood near the capital of the Islamic Republic.

The couple, who moved to Western Australia from Coffs Harbor, NSW, in 2015, quit their jobs in April 2017 and began an overland expedition destined for the UK less than three months later.

The couple camping along the beach in Penang, Mainland Malaysia. Many of the photos on her blog were taken with a drone.Recognition:Instagram

Until their arrest a year ago, they had enjoyed traveling in their Toyota LandCruiser through some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world. In their bespoke vehicle, they had driven north-west from Washington to the Northern Territory before sending their car to East Timor.

The couple then traveled through Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, India and Nepal and followed the stunning Karakoram Highway in northern Pakistan before traveling through the former Soviet republics of Central Asia to Iran and receiving regular updates on social media.

Their goal, the couple wrote, was “to inspire anyone who wants to travel” and “remove the stigma of traveling to countries that get a bad rap in the media”.

“We both share a great love for the outdoors and an appreciation for the happiness that being outside of your comfort zones brings you,” they wrote in their first blog post.

“Hopefully we can extend this journey as long as possible, since we only stand between the obligations of life so often that we have the opportunity to spend as much time exploring.”

After their arrest near the sprawling Iranian capital, the two were held in Evin Prison until they were released in October last year as part of an apparent prisoner exchange between the Morrison government and Tehran.

Mr. Firkin and Mrs. King, who is also a UK citizen, were immediately reunited with family and friends in Perth, but remained silent online about the ordeal and called on the media to “allow us and our families to live normal lives”.

Marta is an award-winning photographer and journalist specializing in social justice and local government issues.

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