Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
When you travel, sometimes you find places that strike a chord within your soul, and you're not sure why. Sometimes you go to painstaking trouble to study and learn all you can, up to and including the language or committing street maps and major locations to memory so you feel less like a visitor on your ensuing trips there. Other times, you feel like you're in a mode of wonderous discovery and it all still feels familiar - and you navigate the city without hesitation or worry.
I felt that way the last time I was in New York. And maybe now, there's a reason for it. Two great grandmothers back, I found Mary J. Boyle, resident of New York and transplant to Indiana, where she married and became my great-grandpa Clinton's mother. But that was just the beginning of my new inspiration for planning my next trips.
As I continued digging, I found the roots of most all of my grandparents were firmly planted in lots of "News" - New York, New England, New Jersey - and then traced down the coast into Virginia, before various lots of them headed westward, planting roots in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois. Then a few enterprising couples took off across the plains and challenged more than a few mountain ranges as they made their way to Utah, Idaho, and California.
With $50 for a three month subscription to Ancestry.com, I have found the grandparents that immigrated from England on the Mayflower (the ACTUAL Mayflower) and died in Plymouth, as their sons and daughters then did, until the family started spreading into Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
But the best part was finding what I had long known to be true: my English roots - but now with names and places attached. Essex, Cambridge, Lincolnshire, Suffolk - ancestors all the way back into the 1400's and 1500's, which gives me even more of a reason to want to go to Europe (like one really needs a reason). And then I found my Polish grandparents, including my great-great grandfather's World War I draft registration card when he was living in Wisconsin.
When I look at my family tree for "where to go next" - the destinations are endless.
When you're looking for solo travel inspiration, you may want to consider looking back at your roots. You will never know where you might go that strikes a memorable chord.
See more: NBC.com - Who Do You Think You Are