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The Great, Great, Great Grand Adventure: A Family History Journey Inspired by Ancestry.com

Posted by Nick Cifuentes on November 2, 2012 in Ancestry Great Adventure

The evening of July 15th, 2012 was a pivotal moment in time for the Brown family – it was the night we decided to take our five children on a trip across the United States on a journey of discovery. Like every family, we have had our challenges, and we felt strongly that the time was right for us to leave our comfort zone behind and refocus our priorities on what we believe is the most important thing we have – each other.

Two months ago we had no idea exactly where we would go, what we would see, or that we would be bringing Ancestry.com along for the ride. Our plan has now evolved to include traveling for a period of 6 to 9 months over a distance of more than 10,000 miles, visiting 40 states and more than 40 major cities and meeting a whole bunch of people along the way. In the beginning we had no idea that this trip would be an opportunity for us to discover our family’s stories of courage, sacrifice, faith, hard work and compassion. But, after less than a month of research, we are beginning to realize that we have only begun to discover the people, places, times and circumstances that led our family to where it is today. We now look forward to uncovering our family history one story and one person at a time.

One thing that has surprised us over the past couple months is the reaction we have received from our family, friends and neighbors when we tell them about our trip.

We have come to expect one of four reactions:

  • Are you crazy?
  • Oh, that’s nice…
  • We did (something similar) but we did it for (more or less time) and traveled in a (van/car/truck/whatever) and had an incredible time and our children still talk about (places, experiences, challenges) we had etc., etc.
  • That is so amazing! I have always wanted to do that!!! I can’t believe you are actually doing it!!

Another thing that we did not expect was the flood of advice and travel tips we would get from so many people. We have had a lot of late nights listening to family and friends tell us about all of the amazing places and people that we can’t miss, and we hope we can see and experience every one of them! A lot has happened since that evening in July and every day brings new challenges and opportunities. At this point, we can hardly describe in words how excited we are to hit the road and begin our journey, and no matter what your reaction may be, we hope you will join us as we embark on this adventure.

By Rob Brown

Follow the Brown family on Ancestry.com here: http://www.ancestry.com/adventure

8 comments

Comments
1 Art PrattNovember 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

So 6 to 9 months, 40 states and about 10,000 miles – not much chance of getting into the countryside – just the metro areas – no fun driving or RVing in that.

2 Kathy SnyderNovember 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

You are an awsome family with a great sense of adventure. This is something that you will remember forever and you will never be the same because of all of the things you have learned about your ancestors and thus yourselves. Be safe and have a great time!

3 LauraNovember 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

This is awesome. Excited to learn more about your adventures. Travel safely and have fun exploring your family history.

4 PamNovember 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Best wishes for a safe and wonderful adventure of a lifetime. I can’t wait to here all about for travels!

5 KathyNovember 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I would love to do something like this, but lack of finances hold me back. So I take the trip vicariously with genealogy on Ancestry.com & Family Tree Maker.
Be safe & have a good trip!

6 JessieNovember 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I am soooo jealous! Have a wonderful time and be safe. I will pray that God grants you His traveling mercies.
Can’t wait to hear about it.

7 MelanieNovember 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I love the idea that you took Life’s challenge. You and your family will never forget this time, and good on you for being brave to jump into the time tunnel. I’ve done similar things before in my life (I’m now 66) and was told that I was silly and would regret it..NOT! Why have a life if ya aren’t gonna LIVE IT?? Safe and happy journey to you all!

8 M BrasciaNovember 22, 2012 at 10:21 am

I just returned from a mini trip looking for ancestors. I only covered 3 states and we went by
car and stayed in hotels. We had a mini reunion
along the way and met a distant cousin in another
state who showed us around. We found our great great grandfather’s old farm and the cemetery where
he is buried. We found the answers to a lot of our
questions and had a lot of fun doing it. One of our
party fell and was injured, so we cut the trip short. We will go again soon.

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