A vacation doesn't get more personal than one that traces your roots, through your DNA, right back to where your family came from. For nearly everyone, that means seeking answers in foreign lands.
The Real Housewives of Orange County's Meghan King Edmonds traced her DNA back to Ireland, where she confronted people on the street to ask them if they had the same last name as her ancestors. Elsewhere in celeb root-hunting travel, the Kardashians returned to Armenia to explore where their father was from.
Also called "heritage travel," this longing for answers often starts with scouring the web for personal origin clues; DIY tools like Ancestry.com start at $99. A kit shows up at your house and you swipe the inside of your cheek with the stick inside, and send it back. You'll get your results within six to eight weeks... and then hit the road.
Or, you can go a more full-service route: One such company to offer assistance is Travel Unwrapped, which bills its offerings this way: "Discovering your DNA origins will provide you with your own, unique map, and will allow you to meet the people and immerse yourself in the cultures of the places you come from, looking at everything with a completely new perspective." This company offers fully luxurious experiences, in addition to potentially eye-opening ones.
What you learn might result in not just epic vacation memories, but life-affirming, life-changing ones.
After Oprah traced her roots to what is now Liberia and Guinea, she said. “It was absolutely empowering to know the journey of my entire family."
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