· Travel

I've just filled a small test tube with saliva, added some stabilizing solution and popped it in the mailbox.
Just last Friday I read a travel article on the new trend of tracing your roots not just on your laptop and in the library, but actually visiting the lands of your ancient ancestors. Lo and behold the next day, my father, who is usually not nearly so imaginative, gifted me a DNA testing kit for my birthday (nice one Dad!). I'm intrigued to say the least, and fascinated to discover what shows up for me in 6 to 8 weeks time. I'm expecting a British background obviously, but with a Welsh name and knowing nothing back beyond my great-grandparents, there may be room for a surprise.
So this blog post will be followed up on in a couple of months time when the results are through and I'm pretty sure if some country or region that I have not visited before shows up strongly then I may just have to pack my bags again. For this week, the top 5 are the geographical locations that I presume/guess will show up in my DNA.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has done this and discovered some exciting results.

My DNA Presumed TOP 5

1. England

Well if England doesn't show up, then DNA testing is hocum and you can forget all about it. My original homeland still means a lot to me and as a Londoner for most of my time there I am naturally drawn to the capital city, though the Cotswolds (above) where we spent our last 7 years in England has a special place in our hearts. If your roots are traced to England, don't forget the regions are very different, so a fascinating trip can be planned.

2. Wales
I'm reliably informed my grandfather on my Dad's side came from Wales. This interests me more, now that I am older and perhaps a little wiser, than in my youth. I've actually only visited Wales twice I think. Once for an FA Cup Final in Cardiff because Wembley was being rebuilt and once for a weekend with friends in the wilds. Wales gets a raw deal all round from the travel industry. Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and England all clearly do a much better job of promoting themselves. Wales definitely has a lot to offer - Castles (see Conwy above), incredible hiking, wonderful boutique country hotels in get away from it all locations, and perhaps the best language to listen to in the world.

3. Normandy
With no clue at all as to the origins of my mothers side of the family, I'm guessing for the rest of this, and really just thinking about how Wales was inhabited way back with many heading from Central Europe and invading during the Dark Ages. So Normandy is slightly wishful thinking. I want to experience the best cider in the world, along with wines and cheese to die for. I want to visit the Normandy beaches, let the meaning and magnitude of those sink in, and finish perhaps at Mont St Michel (above).

 

4. Hungary
I'm also wishing for my 8th cousin twice removed to have hailed from Hungary. This is a country long on my wishlist, and we will be traveling to Budapest (Photo below by Karim Manjra on Unsplash) next summer. I am very willing to combine looking for a relative with a dip in Budapest's famous baths, some real goulash, and a stop at one or two Ruin bars.

5. Romania
Bordering Hungary to the east is Romania, another country on my list, mainly because of the variation in possible experiences here. From beach resorts on the Black Sea, to Transylvania's castles and monasteries, to beautiful 12th century towns like Sibiu (above), to skiing and summer mountain resorts such as Sinaia (below), Romania lends itself to exploration on a luxury road trip and if I bump into a niece or nephew of Great Great Great Uncle Alexandru on the way, then all the better.

If you want to explore what your DNA tells you, click here and we'll help you explore the lands of your ancestors.

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