Right now I am at the Family History Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. It's been a great day of talking to people about roots travel, and hearing about some of the places they would like to travel.
It's amazing how each person has a story about their ancestors and the places they came from. I have spoken with people whose ancestors were from Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Russia, Barbados, Georgia, Jamestown, Ireland, Scotland, Vermont, Italy, Germany, and many, many other places. Those ancestors were farmers, villagers, and even nobility. One was close to a Russian czar, ad one even owned land on which a Mayan city was later found.
The one common thread that goes through all these encounters is how people want to learn more about their heritage through traveling to see these places first-hand. They feel a pull back to these destinations that can't be sourced back to an ad campaign by some tourist bureau. It's all about family, heritage, and discovering who we are by finding out who our ancestors were.
Tomorrow I get to do it again and speak to as many people as I can about roots travel. The more I do, the stronger I feel that roots travel is an absolutely essential part of genealogy. It is full of stories of people, places, and dreams. Done right, it can change the way you view yourself, your ancestors, and the world.