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.