Is travel in my blood? In my genes? My 23andme results are in, and we now have conclusive data as to where in the world I am from. You might remember a few weeks ago, I posted about my 23andme DNA test.
In that post, I chronicled my journey about the DNA test and how easy it was to take it. Today, I’m going to share what I learned (as much as I feel pertinent, anyway).
23andme is a very easy DNA testing program. You can purchase the kit at Target, or online, and then register the kit and send in your DNA sample. There are two options: ancestry only, or ancestry and health. I opted for the big package, but was hesitant about what I might find. Not for any particular purpose, mind you, but mainly because I just didn’t know. And I do not like the unknown…
what i learned from my 23andme results
After about five weeks, I learned that my 23andme results were in, and I immediately logged into 23andme to read them.
The most surprising thing about my 23andme results is that I’m ONLY 27% British/Irish. I thought that I was mostly Irish but after talking with my mom (post-DNA test, not results) I’m actually more German/French. The results do show that, by the way: I’m 16.3% French/German.
Anyone that is a history buff will know that for a majority of history, the French-German border has… fluctuated. So too with the British-Irish borders. Someone who was English at one time may have ancestors who were Scots or Irish. This is one huge reason why 23andme is so vague – a point that bothers many.
But does it bother me?
No, not really. I think this is because my knowledge of my history is fairly detailed. As I think I mentioned in the last post, my mom has done a lot of research. I know where – and when – various relatives were from. And therefore, I can gauge my French heritage against my German heritage, and I know it’s German because of the time period (or vice versa).
what about surprises
A lot of people report that they are surprised by their 23andme results (or other DNA test results). They learn they have slight bits of X ancestry that they never knew, or their tests reveal that they aren’t related to a particular person (i.e. parent or grandparent).
Shock and awe is well and truly apparent in DNA tests.
For me, not so much. I was a bit surprised – like I noted above – that my British/Irish ancestry was only 27%, but when you add the 16.3% French and German, you get 43.3% AND then they have the “broad” category.
For me, that’s “Broadly Northwestern European” and I’m 22.9% that. Thus, I’m 66.2% northwestern European. I’m 9.2% Scandinavian/Finnish (they are listed separately on 23andme – why, I do not know). And then – quite possibly the more shocking of the results, I am 13.5% Eastern European. Because my parents have done it, I do know that my dad has some Eastern European in his genes… I just didn’t realise that my genes would reflect that much. Surprise, surprise, I got 13% of EE from him, and only .5% from my mom. Of Southern European, I am only 4.3% which may explain my inability to grasp the Italian language.
So, surprises. No.
Wait. One surprise. East Asian and Native American. From my mom. Not a clue where that comes from. It is, however, less than .1% of my DNA. So – irrelevant? I don’t know.
what about the travel
Right – what about the travel? Is travelling in my blood? Ok… so that is something they don’t test for.
I can tell you based on my own observations that it’s very likely a genetic thing. We already know that birth order affects the way that a person grows, from their personality traits to their taste and preference for certain studies.
What 23andme DOES do is conduct researches, like ones that ask about habits. Through this research, they can aggregate the results into traits and patterns. And through these traits and patterns, we can paint a broad picture of how your genes – or more accurately, your upbringing – affects travel.
First borns, according to 23andme research, are more likely to read at a much earlier age. We are also more likely to take advanced math classes. And we are often more outspoken.
Personally (and I am 100% theorising), those traits add up to a person who is more likely to seek out the unknown. That unknown may be in a science classroom, that unknown may be in an archaeological site. And that unknown might also be halfway around the world in a Vietnamese hostel. It’s interesting to me that its the second born who is more likely to own a dog. I would absolutely have one if it didn’t hinder my travels, so…………. point proven?
(Side note: I
like love dogs too!)
You could certainly argue that the youngest has these same traits. I do know youngest children who are by far the most adventurous of their siblings. But in my family, it’s me.
And for that, yes, travel is in my blood.
Have you ever done a DNA test? What did it reveal? Were there any surprises? While I am already aware of the downsides to doing something like this, mine luckily revealed nothing negative. (Please don’t share anything revealing!)