As you go along your family history journey you will discover more and more about the lives of those who came before you. A part of that is learning where they lived. To gain a better connection and understanding of their lives, some may visit the area and maybe even the land they owned. Here are some things you can do to prepare for a trip to your ancestral lands.

Gather all the information:

First things first: you have to know where you’re going. Make sure you double check the townname spelling, Street names and address numbers. If you know you’re going to a more remote location, make sure to have print directions in caseyou lose cell service. If you are meeting anynew relatives on this trip make sure to have their phone number and address written down.

Prep accessories:

What are you going to do when you get there? Make sure if you’re going to take a lot of pictures to bring an extra SD card if you are using a physical camera. If you are just using your phone camera make sure you backup your photos when you get service. Create a dedicated album in your phone for the pictures. If you plan on doing any grave cleaning during your visit, make sure to lay out all the necessary tools that you are going to pack. Make sure to pack any research you want to share with new relatives that you are meeting. If you are going to be performing any rituals make sure to set aside whatever you may need. If you are missing anything, make a list of what you need to get. Bring a journal so you can write down any additional information you may learn during your trip and to just collect your thoughts on the experience.

Check in with yourself:

As you begin the physical journey to travel to the area, do a quick check in with yourself. Are you nervous? Excited? All those feelings are valid.As the trip is about to begin, it is okay to have a surge of varying emotions and doubts. As you head to get on the highway, to the airport,or train station, take a moment to remind yourself for the reason you started this journey. Hold on to that reason, and remind yourself of it any time you start to get anxious during your journey.

Enjoy and be present:

During your trip be very in the moment and be aware of the spaces you are in. Reflect on all the stories you have learned through your research. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. If you have been working on tracking this location down for a long time, there could be a lot of overwhelming emotions. Spend time connecting with your new found relatives. Take time to be at peace knowing that all the hard work of research led you to this moment.

If you used any of these tips or they helped you during your genealogy journey, make sure to share your pictures and stories using #GenZGenealogy and tagging @TheHiddenBranch!