Culture Honey’s Georgia Sanders: The Cultural Traveler
“The urbanization of modern life has succeeded in exiling us from this fecund kinship with our mother earth. Fashioned from the earth, we are souls in clay form. We need to remain in rhythm with our inner clay voice and longing. Yet this voice is no longer audible in the modern world. We are not even aware of our loss, consequently, the pain of our spiritual exile is more intense in being largely unintelligible.” From Anam Cara by John O’Donahue.
In an era of distinct separation from nature and outright antagonism towards the earth, how might we reconnect with our inner clay voice and our longing for a purposeful life? Some say that it is the sharing of stories that truly builds the bonds of trusting relationships. And others further suggest that a wonderful vehicle for accessing those stories from the vast corners of the planet is to travel.
Whether on a physical journey or traveling virtually through a magazine, the experience of cultural immersion can give space for the soul to pause and to absorb the extraordinary and the mundane moments with equal amounts of wonder. Sensory information is exciting and feeds the mind’s curiosity with new perspectives on how we live our lives and how we treat those in our personal orbits.
Culture, like honey, is sweet according to Georgia Sanders. It invites you to taste more, to ask for more sweetness. To dive deeper into the luxurious foam of ancient cultures and plumb their artistic, architectural, historical and societal legacies for indicators of beauty and hope. This was the rationale for her to found Culture Honey Magazine just over five short years ago. And this is a different kind of travel and culture magazine, one with a heart!
Daughter of a dedicated school teacher, Georgia grew up bouncing around in the back seat of the car on family trips every summer during her mom’s breaks from school. Those adventures continued after marrying her husband Mike as she was able to accompany him during his work as an Engineer for JPL/NASA. Travel and culture also presented themselves through her work in founding and working from her own multimedia production company, G9 Interactive. There she counted many record labels (her passion), but also corporate clients such as Skechers Footwear, Paramount Pictures, and Proctor & Gamble as clients. In that context, she experienced travel through the eyes of the the entertainment world, especially within the music industry in New York City, Austin, Texas and of course her native Los Angeles. Georgia also traveled to far-flung places such as Kristiansand, Norway and Avignon, France with church groups, deepening her understanding of how the spark of Life is beautiful in each and every people group. And finally, in a brief stint in the world of clicks and online traffic, Georgia took her longest trip, to Shanghai, China. The startup marketing firm was purchased by a larger company and many celebratory trips to Las Vegas, NV ensued, as “shares” were vested, and the acquisition process unfolded. However, it wasn’t until Georgia was able to embark upon a three month sabbatical in Florence, Italy in the fall of 2014 that the essence of spiritually-grounded travel became crystalized in her understanding.
After immersing herself in conversations with newfound friends and other fellow travelers over cups of coffee about the vagaries of our lives, Georgia recognized the value of such intimate and simple moments. Born out of a desire to fix our gaze towards the beauty in life, as well as the social justice and humanitarian issues that compassion asks us to help address, Culture Honey additionally provides a view to parts of the world we might never see.
Who can forget the heart-wrenching images of refugees flooding into Europe in 2015 and the moral dilemma that those countries faced of deciding whether or not to allow people to come into their borders, or literally become nation-less wanderers? For Georgia this is the essence of becoming what she terms a ‘cultural traveler’. To be fully cognizant of the trials of others on this planet and yet to remain hopeful in the face of seemingly impossible conditions to overcome.
“Knowing that this season too, shall pass” is where Georgia finds peace and hope in the current world of seemingly constant turmoil and contradictions. Out of this desire to learn from history and the ancients, she developed the Culture Honey Touring company which begins operations with its inaugural journey to Sacred Ireland and Iona, Scotland in September of 2021. The concept of these small group pilgrimages, providing people with the space and time to reflect, meditate and learn from the cultural traditions of societies that have developed over centuries, brings her joy.
These spiritual adventures are designed to provide sojourners the ability to practice the ways of the ‘cultural traveler’. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome to join Georgia and her husband Mike on a cultural pilgrimage to explore the Celtic thought and faith that has developed over 1,500 years. “Where eternity meets the present!” is the frame by which these tours are organized. If you are quiet, there is a stillness that provides a way of connecting and grounding in the places and people who make up these beautiful lands.
And the goal of Culture Honey Touring aligns with that of the magazine. Simply put, it is to be handcrafted and to provide meaningful connections to other cultures, familial heritage and the wisdom of those who have come before us. Through a sense of connectedness and purpose we identify and connect with those who share our spirit. And as the result of these profound moments of unity we see our humanity in others and in turn are to find deep rest that infuses our work towards peace and justice for everyone.
The callousness of the hearts of some will not keep the rest of us from celebrating life, according to Georgia. We have all experienced loss in some way or another, so the recognition of the seasons of life and the fact that we are suffering together helps to bring us peace. Understanding this holistic view enables us to continue on for the long term. What is presented to us in this time that might take hold and ultimately benefit our lives? How might planning a trip for when the pandemic is over actually be a leap of faith?
For Georgia, a voice like Culture Honey’s can offer a stabilizing force right now – providing a window to the world that focuses on the creative and brings hope as we contemplate – whether we are reading about it or in the case of the pilgrimages and tours, experiencing it directly ourselves. That is the vision that Georgia Sanders seeks to fill through the transformative power of conscious and purposeful travel: to provide the traveler with the opportunity to reconnect with our inner-clay form and with mother earth. It is there that we find the secret to living a life filled with joy, wonder and beauty in abundance.