Muscat, Oman - Barbara Sansone, OriginalWorld founder and cultural tourism

Barbara Sansone, Original World founder, in Muscat, Oman


Greetings to all the passionate travelers of the world! I know there are many of us out there and now with the web, blogs and u-tube we are really able to connect and share our experiences and insights.

It has long been our intention to create a cultural tourism travel blog as an extension of Original World’s presence on the Web. Our goal is to share some of the richest and most colorful international destinations from across the Indian, Asian, African Middle Eastern and Eastern European landscapes.

I feel like a latecomer finally entering the blogosphere, but here I go!  Since founding Spirit of India in 1997, which expanded to Original World in 2004, I have researched destinations extensively and made alliances with loyal partners, who are now trusted friends and globe travelers—both to fuel my own passion as well as fine-tune the details to offer the experiences to you, my fellow passionate travelers.

In preparing to write my first entry, I began thinking of our many loyal repeat clients.  What is the common thread among them and between them and myself?  Here is what I have come up with:  obviously we share a passion for travel.

But it’s not just any type of travel.  It is a very specific type of travel. I can tell you that most of my clients say they do not have any (or not many) friends who like to travel the way they do. Nor does anyone but us understand that travel is not an extraneous luxury but an essential “necessity” of our lives.


What is this passion—this yearning that I, you readers and my clients share? What is it that binds us together like a special tribe of folks? We yearn to connect to that common thread of humanity as we journey from one diversely different culture to the next.

We love to explore new places, try new cuisine, learn a few words of a new language, interact with the local people and really understand world history by visiting the ancient sites.

Our spirit soars with a lightness of being in fresh surroundings, seeing life as if from a completely different set of eyes. There is a giddy exuberance as we soak up the experiences. We want to soak up all the experiences, all the amazing art, architecture, customs, traditions, and landscapes.  We want to satisfy our curious minds and marvel at the world’s treasures. We make new friends knowing that most likely we will never meet again. Our hearts are awakened, expanded, touched.

Though we have families, friends, careers, volunteer work, projects and other things that are a part of our individual worlds, these things alone do not define us. These are things we do and ways we participate, give and receive. But it is only when we are away from all the familiar routines, the daily tasks, away from the roles we play “mother-father,” “husband-wife,”— that we come back to what I call our original selves.


Traveling enables us to understand, like the thrill of an aha moment, the history of ancient cultures, which is really an amalgam of the history of all humankind. Books, lectures, or education alone do not give us this level of insight.

When we travel to far away places, we can sense our belonging, our own place in this vast world.  And this is our nectar, drawing us again and again. This one trip, this one moment is never enough.

We experience a personal connection, in whatever form that may take for each of us, that offers clarity, meaning and deep understanding.  Often we are reminded of our gratitude for the life we are living.

It has been said many times before that travel nourishes, renews and enriches the life of the traveler.  We who have been stung by this bug know that without question.  It is our nectar and we need it to survive.

No matter what’s going on politically, economically or with natural disasters, passionate travelers will always travel…because we have to!  We have to see, hear, learn, experience and connect with the world outside of ourselves.  We breathe it in, drink it up and then incorporate it into who we are in our every day lives.

We travel to rediscover our original selves.

(And now you know how our company name was derived.)

We look forward to sharing with you Original World’s special nooks and crannies from our ever expanding list of tour destinations including India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Sudan, The Balkans, The Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan), Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and more.

We shall feature many voices on our blog, titled Original World Insights. Please return often to read accounts from a host of contributing travel writers as well as some of our own travelers who share their poignant experiences via reposts of their own blog entries on our site.

Life is one enormous amazing journey! Join us in celebrating the joy of travel through our sharing of unique cultural travel experiences.

Barbara Sansone

Founder/Original World/Spirit of India