Oh, travel! It can be elusive when you are busy. I remember when I was in college, I would jump at any opportunity to visit a new place.
Now, as a working woman, travel for the sake of travel seems like a tomorrow I’ll never get to. Outside of visiting friends, attending weddings, and working, I have not planned a trip to explore a place in a long time. When I realized this about myself, I said 2018 will be the year I travel!
I have not been overseas in over ten years, and it is time to change that. The only issue is that the world is vast and has plenty of places to go. My brother-in-law got me the Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See… It gave me ideas on great places to travel, but there are so many beautiful places to see! How do you decide?
So I was so excited when 23andMe contacted me with a chance to get a free ancestry kit to write about my experience with it. I thought YES!!! Based on my ancestry results, this is a great way to learn more about myself, where I come from, and find a few great places to visit. Today, I want to share what happened when I got my results and what some of my travel ideas are from the results.
How to Get Your DNA to 23andMe
I started by signing up for my kit by going to 23andMe.com. I ordered my kit online and waited for it to come to me in the mail.
Once I got it in the mail, it had pretty detailed instructions on how to proceed next. I had to register my kit number with my account online. Next came the DNA part.
There was a plastic tube inside that I was required to spit into. After spitting and sealing my sample, I returned it in the same box. It only took me 10 minutes to do the whole process.
Analyzing the Results
After a couple of weeks, I got the email I was waiting for.
And the results were… Well surprising.
I discovered that I was 72.1% Sub-Saharan African, which was not all that surprising considering I am African American. It was nice to know what part of Africa I came from. But what was surprising was the fact that I was 25.2% European.
I’m black, and my parents are black. So, imagine my surprise when I saw such a vast percentage of Europeans in my blood. Broken down a little more, and it looks like I am 12.6% British and Irish.
Cheerio! As I read through my results, it was as if 23andMe was reading my mind when I saw the message below. Um yeah!
That’s exactly what I was thinking. So needless to say, my parents will have to take this test too because we need to get to the bottom of this. There were so many reports to look through, surveys I could take, and even an option to reach out to long-lost cousins who also did the ancestry test.
I was surprised and, at the same time, excited to learn more about where this all started and how I could know more. What better way to learn more about your ancestry than to visit the places where YOU came from?
Determining Where to Go
After seeing my results, I knew it was time to do a little research on places to go. I figured my most extensive DNA makeup is my Sub-Saharan African Half and My European half. So, I looked up some of the most incredible places in West Africa, Scandinavia, England, and Ireland. Here is what I came up with.
I’ll be honest: Africa was never really on the list of places to go. But after doing a little research, I found that there are a lot of cool places to go here. There is much to discover, from Timbuktu, Mali, to Yamoussoukro, home of the world’s biggest church!
The small Island of Ile de Goree, Senegal, is a car-free island known for its role in the 15th- to 19th-century Atlantic slave trade. There has to be a ton of history here. Lome’ is the capital of Togo and is known for its artistry and voodoo. The Freetown Peninsula¸ is a huge tourist attraction since it has beaches, mountains, and forests and is green.
If I decided to go the European route, there were too many destinations to count. A few that were on my radar were Stonehenge, just because I’ve always liked the mystery around it.
Dublin and Ireland were just beautiful places to see. And I have always wanted to visit Stockholm, and anywhere in Finland looked terrific. There are so many places to see and so little time.
There are so many places to see and so little time. I could easily see this being two different trips, but getting so excited along the way, I would feel the need to see more, know more, and do more! I cannot wait to decide which trip to do first and start planning for 2018!
You can sign up for your kit today by going to 23andme.com/dna-travel
I learned A LOT about myself by doing this. Knowing what city your parents were born in does not mean you know your ancestry. I got so much out of this and cannot wait to explore more to learn about myself and where my family comes from. I hope it will do the same for you!