In recent years, discovering your ancestry has become a popular trend. It is interesting to know where you came from because, in my opinion, it allows where you're going to mean a little bit more. I, myself, am a mix of different heritages. I have ancestors from several different Native American tribes and ancestors from several countries in Europe. Growing up in Oklahoma, I lived in the homeland of my Native American predecessors for most of my life, but my first experience visiting the land of my ancestors abroad was when I went to Scotland.
Like England, Scotland is known for its perpetually damp climate. However, while England is very crowded with tourists and business persons, Scotland is quite peaceful and serene. The green, rolling hills are as comforting of a sight as any in the world, and the country has plenty of interesting history to enjoy as well.
My particular relation to Scotland is rather interesting. Sir William Wallace, the person Mel Gibson's character is based on in Braveheart, is my great uncle (with several extra greats of course). For those of you who haven't seen the movie, William Wallace was a Scottish revolutionary who fought for Scotland's independence from Britain during the Scottish Wars of Independence in the late 1200s. He was eventually captured by the British before being tortured and brutally killed as punishment for standing against British rule. In Scotland, he has become almost a mythical figure that is regarded as a national hero.
Although I was too young to see the movie Braveheart at the time, I knew about my heritage and my relation to this important figure before I visited Scotland. However, physically being in the place where so much history and so much of my ancestry took place was a life-changing experience. I was very young at the time, but knowing the importance of my ancestry to history in this beautiful place known as Scotland was still incredibly moving.