I’ve always been interested in genealogy. Growing up, I was always interested in my 1/4 Lebanese side, hearing stories from my dad. I knew the rest was a mix of European, thinking mostly German, but It wasn’t until I’d taken a DNA test that I found out that I was roughly 40% French.
I started spending countless hours researching on various genealogy sites, tracing both my and my husband’s lineage. It was during this time that I started to read about the increase in “DNA travel” or “heritage travel”. As a travel specialist, who also loved genealogy research, I was intrigued.
Many people are now taking ancestry results one step further and arranging trips to explore the countries from their families’ past. With some DNA testing companies giving you real-world matches of relatives, some are even connecting with people across the globe with a shared family tree, like Kieron’s trip to Africa highlighted in this video.
After getting their DNA results, many people choose to travel to one of the countries their ancestors come from. Whether it is parts of Europe, South America, or even further away, that is where I can step in to help. Together, we can track down specific towns where relatives once lived (or perhaps still are), and get you there…visit an ancestral home, walk in the footsteps of relatives’ past, or connect with direct descendants from the same lineage.
On our last vacation, BC (before Covid), we traveled through parts of Eastern Europe, stopping in Bratislava, Slovakia.
My husband’s great grandparents immigrated from Slovakia in the early 1900s and he has grown up with a few stories about ‘the old country’. It was interesting to visit a place I’d heard about often from my in-laws and for my kids to experience some of their heritage as well.
Not really knowing much about my large French side (which actually comes from both sides of my family), I still always felt drawn to France. I loved the language, the culture. I loved visiting Paris as well as the south of France many years ago. But I’d never thought much about my fascination nor did I ever discuss it with anyone. My daughter seems to have inherited the same love. Inexplicably, she is drawn to all things French. Her school requires language classes starting in 1st grade and while we encouraged her to take Spanish, she insisted on French. Her French teacher always tells me she is a natural and has the best pronunciation. My daughter is also very desperate to visit France. After learning about my deep French roots, it seems to make more sense now and we have talked about planning our next trip to France after I do some more digging into what parts of France my relatives came from.
Is there somewhere from your DNA results you are itching to visit? Any long-lost relatives you’d like to get to know or significant sites you want to explore? Let me know how I can help you plan a trip that gets you back to your roots.
julie04/08/2021 at 4:10 pm
What an amazing idea! I’m applying for Italian citizenship through my grandparents and I’ve had to do a lot of genealogy research for it. I thought I knew everywhere my family came from in Italy, but I’m finding more places that we hadn’t realized before. I love the idea of making a trip out of it! Its fascination that you were drawn to France even before you knew about your heritage.
Kelly04/08/2021 at 4:47 pm
It’s interesting what you start to find out as you research. Italy is so beautiful and actually quite diverse in the various regions so a trip there would be lovely.
I love the idea of helping people not only with the travel but with the genealogy side of things and helping them create a trip based on their heritage and family connections.
Natalie04/08/2021 at 5:42 pm
Such a cool concept! I’m lucky enough to know that for at least several generations, my family from both sides is from Poland, so I don’t need to take a DNA test 🙂 Several family members also did a lot of research with finding documents, so I even know where in Poland they came from!
Kelly04/08/2021 at 5:51 pm
Sounds like the perfect time to plan a trip!
Diana Wilkins04/08/2021 at 11:12 pm
My husband and I did our DNA and were surprised by some of the results. We knew we both had German heritage but no one really knew my dad’s side of the family. Now we’re tracking down exact towns and villages so we can travel to the area of our ancestors. It makes travel even more fun!
Kelly04/12/2021 at 1:34 am
Yes! That is exactly what I am talking about. Visiting all those small little villages you would have never known about otherwise. 🙂
Lyndsey Grantham04/09/2021 at 1:15 am
I guess I never looked at it as “DNA Travel” but it’s definitively a proper fit! After working on my genealogy the past 5 years or so, I’ve been moved to want to visit the places of my ancestors. I have a strong Irish heritage and some Lebanese ancestry of which I have relatives still living there. Glad I’m not the only one with the urge to visit where I come from!
Kelly04/12/2021 at 1:35 am
Oh cool. I wish I knew more about where my Lebanese relatives came from and would love to visit there. Maybe we are related. 😉
Cathy04/09/2021 at 9:09 pm
This is a great idea! I would love to go to Ireland, where my Dad’s family is from. Thanks!
Kelly04/12/2021 at 1:36 am
You should! Do you still have relatives there? That would make it even more personal.
Kate Maddox04/11/2021 at 11:33 pm
That is such a neat idea! I want to get my DNA ancestry results sometime. I would love to trave to Ireland and Wales to see some of the family history there.
Kelly04/12/2021 at 1:37 am
You should do it. I was surprised by my results and it has connected me with a lot of cousins all over the world.