A New Kind of Travel: Ancestry Tourism with 23andMe

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When you travel, how do you pick your destination? For us, it's a number of different reasons. We tend to pick our destinations based on what we like: climate, food, activities, etc. But lately, we have been exploring the idea of Ancestry Tourism.  

OUR GREAT GRANDMOTHER ON OUR FATHER'S SIDE

OUR GREAT GRANDMOTHER ON OUR FATHER'S SIDE

OUR JAPANESE GRANDMOTHER ON THE TOP LEFT. THE LITTLE GIRL IS OUR MOTHER. 

OUR JAPANESE GRANDMOTHER ON THE TOP LEFT. THE LITTLE GIRL IS OUR MOTHER. 

We recently sent in our DNA for analysis through 23andMe's saliva collection kit. A very easy process where 23andMe sends you a kit and all you have to do is spit into a tube and then send it back in a pre-paid shipping box. Once your DNA results are ready, you will receive an email letting you know that they are ready for you to view online.

It can take up to 6-8 weeks to process your DNA, but it was actually much faster than that for me. I mailed my kit and a few days later I received an email (June 22) that it reached their lab for processing. On July 2, I received a follow-up email that my results were ready. So it took less than two weeks for my results.

23ANDME'S SALIVA COLLECTION KIT

23ANDME'S SALIVA COLLECTION KIT

We were excited to see the breakdown of our DNA so that we could compare our results. Although we are sisters, we imagined that there would be slight differences in the percentages. We knew that our DNA would most likely have Japanese and German results, but wanted to see if there was something else that would show up.

OUR MOTHER DRESSED UP FOR "COMING OF AGE DAY"

OUR MOTHER DRESSED UP FOR "COMING OF AGE DAY"

OUR FATHER ROAD TRIPPING AROUND JAPAN

OUR FATHER ROAD TRIPPING AROUND JAPAN

IN JAPAN MANY YEARS AGO FOR A KIMONO SHOOT. CRYSTAL IS IN THE MIDDLE AND CANDY IN THE PURPLE KIMONO. TO THE FAR RIGHT IS OUR LITTLE SISTER CINDY.

IN JAPAN MANY YEARS AGO FOR A KIMONO SHOOT. CRYSTAL IS IN THE MIDDLE AND CANDY IN THE PURPLE KIMONO. TO THE FAR RIGHT IS OUR LITTLE SISTER CINDY.

When we viewed our findings, our DNA came back 50% East Asian and 50% European. German & French had the highest percentage at 10.9% and Japanese was a clear 50%. We were actually taken by surprise when we learned that we have a small percentage of Scandinavian in our DNA. 

23andMe+++www.thetravelpockets.com
 
23andME+++www.thetravelpockets.com
 

One of the things we enjoyed about our reports were these fun comparisons about our DNA relatives. Apparently, compared to the average 23andMe customer, our DNA relatives were 13% less likely to be a superstar. We also thought it was intersting that Candy had so much Neanderthal variants in her DNA. You can also see how many DNA relatives you have who are also 23andMe customers. We haven't reached out to anyone yet, but it's cool to see how many are out there. 

FUN DNA STATS

FUN DNA STATS

FAMILY DINNER: RICE BALLS, PORK CHOPS, PEPSI AND YAKULT!

FAMILY DINNER: RICE BALLS, PORK CHOPS, PEPSI AND YAKULT!

OUR FAMILY. WE HOPE WE CAN GET EVERYONE TO DO THE DNA TEST AT SOME POINT.

OUR FAMILY. WE HOPE WE CAN GET EVERYONE TO DO THE DNA TEST AT SOME POINT.

Viewing our results and finding all the fun stats were just one part of what made this experience special to us. With access to our DNA ancestry, this opened up a new kind of travel experience. We want to take our travels to a destination that is based on our DNA and believe this will give us a reason to explore and go beyond more than just sightseeing. We have a feeling that the cultural experience will have more meaning to us and we may even learn more about ourselves.

CRYSTAL IN ICELAND

CRYSTAL IN ICELAND

If you have seen some of our Iceland posts, you will know that Crystal is in love with Iceland (she's already visited twice) and was pretty ecstatic to find that she has Scandinavian DNA. Based on our results, we are thinking it's time to make more trips to Scandinavia.

To bring excitement to the idea of traveling based on your DNA, 23andMe is giving away 23 trips to 23 winners between July 12, 2017, and August 3, 2017. The destinations will be based on a winner's 23andMe Ancestry Composition results. So how do you enter 23andMe's Golden23SM Sweepstakes?

Simple! 

  • Buy a 23andMe kit or enter for free here
  • No purchase necessary. Visit page for Rules.
  • Ends August 3, 2017
23andMe+++www.thetravelpockets.com

If you haven't already clicked on the video above, it's a before-and-after recap of our 23andMe experience. We're excited to start exploring a whole new meaning to our travels and hope you are too!

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