Question number 5…
Have you ever traveled to a place that had personal significance to you? Like where your culture and heritage originated from? If not, would you like to? If so, how did the knowledge of your culture and heritage alter you as a person? What do you think people can learn about their own culture by visiting where it originated?
My mom’s side of the family is very heavily Scottish. My uncle has spent time in Scotland about 10 years ago retracing where the Macnab clan (now spelled McNabb) originated, and my sister and mom visited several years ago. I haven’t made the trip yet, though I traveled to Ireland in 2010, and spent a week in Dublin and a 4 day roadtrip to the Dingle Peninsula and Connemara. There is a bit of a story worth sharing from my trip. I was hanging out in Dublin with a friend whom I met in Santorini earlier in the summer, and some of her friends. We were trading the typical questions that begin all conversations among travelers — what’s your name, where have you been, how long you been traveling, where are you from, etc. I mentioned that “my family was from Scotland” — and they started berating me. Why? They hated the constant stream of tourists showing up in Ireland with the purpose of “reconnecting with their homeland”. Their take on it? People are from wherever they were born — NOT where their great great great grandparents were born. Remember, everyone has a different bias. That said, I definitely plan on going to Scotland and seeing where the McNabb clan lived. [you can read more about the Macnab clan here if you wish]
To wrap this question up, I think it’s different for everyone. Ultimately, I don’t know whether it’s a worthwhile experience or not since I haven’t been back to my family’s original stomping grounds.
[Photo via http://www.haven.com/]