What Exactly Is DNA Tourism?It turns out your spit has a story to tell. Testing your DNA can help you create your next travel itinerary and how. Although ancestral tourism is not new. The desire to track down your ancestral background is mostly popular among American and Canadian tourists but the trend is catching on. There have been studies which suggest that 23 per cent of travellers to Scotland visit there to track down their ancestry. This is not only the case for Scotland
Ireland is also a booming market wherein several travel companies offer ancestry tours. They even named 2013 as the year of "Family History" to woo Americans with an Irish background.
Until now, you would only expect the older generation to indulge in such a thing because why would millennials leave their work and travel across the world to find out more about their ancestors when they could just Google it. But this is not how it is currently. Millennials are catching onto DNA tourism the quickest.
How 23andme WorksVisit the website 23andme.com and order yourself a 'Saliva Collection Kit'. It costs USD 99 and includes a little tube in which they require you to spit into. Then you will have to scan the barcode so they can register this sample as yours and yours only. It is as simple as that, no needles, no blood. Once you're done with this, you've to mail your sample to the 23andme lab in the package provided in the kit itself. After 3 - 5 weeks, you will be notified via email that you have received the results. Log in to the website and know your results i.e. who you REALLY are, biologically! Also, to be noted that these results are 99.9% accurate. Now pack your bags and let your ancestry take you around the globe!
99.5% of your DNA matches with every other being on this planet. It is the rest 0.5% that makes the difference. This is known as variants. Your parents pass on your DNA, their parents passed on their's, and the chain goes on. The variants link certain traits, health conditions, and ancestry groups to narrow down the specifics. For this to happen, you only need to provide your saliva. No needles, no further tests, no visiting the doctor's clinic is required ? just the spit.
The CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified lab run tests on the saliva sample and extract DNA. After the testing is done (this takes 3 to 4 weeks), the company prepares a personalized genetic report containing information about your ancestors, backed up by science and medical research.
The ResultsThe results will mainly show you a percentage breakdown by regions around the globe. So your ancestors may be 11% North American, 24.6% French, 30.4% Indian, 2% Chinese and so on. The DNA can also tell where your ancestors lived ages ago. You can also get to know how many generations ago each did they come into your family.
The results may surprise you and give you the knowledge about your family's past that you didn't know you needed.
What Next?You are all set to go on a discovery journey to cities and towns your ancestors were part of. Prepare an itinerary, find and connect with yourself, and relatives ? with whom you share your DNA. Discover the origins of your mother's mother's mother's... and your father's father's father's..., what they did and how they moved around the world over 500 years ago.
Is It Safe?To answer in short. Most definitely. You are in control of how your personal information is shared and used.
Your personal data will not be shared without your consent.
Your results will only be provided to you and not your employers or even doctors or health insurance companies.
Your data cannot be provided to law enforcement agencies unless required by order of the court.
There are appropriate security measures taken to prevent unauthorized use of any tester's genetic information. This is done by maintaining separate databases and several layers of firewalls.
Want to try something new and offbeat this year? So stop wasting more time and start exploring your connection to the world with 23andme and DNA tourism!