T&L Asks: Your Roots Re-visited
Published: June 2009
Have you ever visited the place your ancestors came from?
My father's family came from the island of Poro in the Philippines. When I reached this tiny piece of land, the lushest and greenest I have ever seen, I was welcomed like a long-lost daughter. I walked along the same bougainvillea-lined paths where my grandmother, and her mother before her, had played as children. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
Ruth Rama Witt
New York, N.Y.
A few years ago I made a pilgrimage to my grandfather's hometown in Finland. When the town historian told me how my grandfather was the only boy around who could throw a rock over the church steeple (82 years before), an everlasting bond was formed between my grandfather and me.
Dorwin L. Bowman II
Last year I took a trip with my mother to see relatives in Amman who were displaced from Jerusalem in 1948. We hadn't been able to go to Jerusalem from Jordan before, but thanks to the 1994 peace treaty, our trip to Israel was finally possible. The drive through the desert and across the Allenby Bridge was both emotional and awe-inspiring.
Two years ago I traveled to Guangzhou, China, with my grandparents. We walked around the marketplace where my grandmother saw my grandfather for the first time -- after their marriage had been arranged! We paid our respects to our ancestral burial site and visited family in the city. A truly wonderful trip.
Megan L. Gong
My husband and I went to the small village of Altenbeken, Germany, to take photographs so we could show my mother where her ancestors lived. The innkeeper called the town historian to ask if he had our family chronicle. The next morning the historian arrived at the inn with a 153-page report in his hand; some of the information dated to the 1500's. We never dreamed we could obtain so much genealogical knowledge in just 24 hours.
Buffalo Grove, Ill.
My grandfather came to the United States in 1910, at the age of 12, from Lebanon. He took me there in 1972, when I was 12. We lost contact with the family during the war, so in 1995 I went back. They were surprised to see me after 23 years, and it was a great reunion. Lebanon is an amazing country; you can water-ski and snow-ski in the same day.
I visited my closest English relatives, Dita and Primrose Mallet, at their manor house in Curry Mallet, Somerset. I was happy I went, but-- since this is one of the authentic haunted houses in England, roamed by a headless woman ghost -- I wasn't unhappy to leave!
Where did you spend your favorite childhood vacations?Have you been back as an adult?
If we print your response, we'll send you a Travel & Leisure T-shirt.
Please fax your replies to 800/926-1748, E-mail them to TLasks@amexpub.com , or mail them to T&L Asks Poll, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 10th floor, New York, NY 10036.