New Year, More Travel

May all your travel dreams bring you to the destinations you’ve always imagined. There’s nothing more inspiring than a brand spanking New Year celebration to get that travel bug kicked into gear for traveling widely and often. That’s definitely my 2019 resolution and plan. 

I’ve packed in close to six months of planned travels for the year. Some of these trips will include friends and family while others will be me going it solo through a mix of countries in the African, European, Asian and my homeland continent of North America. 

My first trip of the New Year begins on Saturday, Jan. 5, as I make my way to Ghana, Benin and Togo. This was supposed to have been my New Year trip for January 2018, but my right leg was in a cast. Thankfully, I healed and was able to move this trip to 2019. 

More than a year ago, I took the ancestry DNA test and the results show that my ethnicity estimates for Benin/Togo is the highest of my results at 28%. The next two highest, at 13% each, are Cameroon/Congo and France. Other African countries also appear on my DNA results summary including Ivory Coast/Ghana at 6%, Mali at 4%, Senegal at 2% and Eastern Africa (primarily Kenya and Uganda) at 1%. My mother’s ethnicity results are 27% Benin/Togo and my father’s was 25% Benin/Togo. Ghana also shows up for both of my parents with my mother at 7% and my father at 3%. 

So, from a DNA standpoint, the West African countries of Benin, Togo and Ghana hold my family’s ancestral roots which is why I’m eager to explore these countries and connect with the people and customs. Additionally, I’m going to attend the annual Voodoo Festival in Benin…among a host of other things. 

It’s one of my shorter trips, just 15 days, planned for this year but the itinerary for this solo trip, with Undiscovered Destinations, should provide me with an insightful look into these West African countries. Yet, this trip is just a small part of my year-long travel schedule which will include Miami and Cuba in March; Paris, Morocco, Spain, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Dubrovnik, Croatia in April and May; Ireland, Scotland and England in July and August; and the Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel in September and October. 

For now, I’m packed and ready to experience all that Ghana, Benin and Togo have to offer. More when I land. Till then, Happy New Year and may your travel dreams come true.