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The travel and insurance brand, World Nomads has teamed with, TravelStore and STA Travel, to launch the Relative Distance campaign. One lucky winner of the competition and their companion will be treated to a 1-year year ancestry membership, a customized trip to any location of their choice, and free airfare to travel to the land of their ancestors to trace and explore their roots. The winner will also be ready for their trip with luggage from Bluesmart, gear from The Clymb and with guide books from Lonely Planet.  Relative Distance is rooted in the belief that in order to understand who we are today we need to know our past.

The aim isn’t to discover whether or not you have a blood connection to King Henry VIII. It’s about the more recent past, about connecting with the stories you heard growing up, or going on an adventure to the village from where your grandfather migrated.

Here are a few examples from the World Nomads community of people who have already embarked on journeys of discovery:

Person looking at a map
  • Constanza Trespalacios, who visited her great-grandfather’s village in Asturias, Spain to better understand what he gave up by moving to Mexico
  • Rose Munday, who followed her great-grandfather’s diary while moving from England to Africa as her itinerary on a trek though Kenya, Tanzania, Malawai, and Zambia
  • Kesha Robertson, who learned about her mysterious grandfather’s family by meeting his siblings in Slovakia
  • Anne Cramer, who learned about Irish resilience through song while visiting Carrick-on-Sharron

The popularity of shows like PBS’s “Finding Your Roots” and CNN’s “Roots” have helped spark an interest for people to learn more about family history. Some travelers are taking their research a step further with “heritage tourism”. Destinations with large diaspora populations in the U.S., such as Ireland, Italy, and China, have seen an uptick in visitors looking to connect with their ancestral homes directly.

To enter the competition, complete your ancestral anecdote here. Entries close 29 May with winners announced on 20 June. The prize has to be used by June 2018.