A few months ago the National Geographic Traveler magazine featured several articles by people who traveled to places in search of their ancestral heritage. The stories were fascinating. One woman journeyed with her mother and sons to Northern Ireland to trace their ancestors; another woman ventured back to Taiwan, where she was born to meet her long lost sisters; while another told of tracing her family roots through her grandfather’s farm in Sicily.
The editorial section of the April issue asked readers if they had ever traveled to explore family roots and, if so, to tell about their experience. I immediately emailed the editor to share what I learned from my trip to Japan with my parents. I wrote…
“My dad is a third-generation Japanese American who looks the part but doesn’t speak any Japanese; my mom is a blond-haired American who looked and felt out of place, while I am a mix of the two–and the only one able to understand a bit of the language. Japan was foreign to all three of us, but we were able to bridge gaps for each other: my dad in describing food and customs from his childhood, my mom’s outsider’s perspective, and my help with communication. We understand each other better than before.”
To my complete shock, the comment was published in the June/July issue of National Geographic Traveler! I jumped up and down while screaming when I came across my name in actual print in my favorite magazine! Now I have been published in the magazine and featured on the online blog version. (See my article on National Geographic Travel’s blog, Intelligent Travel: I Heart My City: Kelli’s Salt Lake City.)
See all of the posts on my trip to Japan here.