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195 of 197 countries, just Yemen and Norway left. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel through (not just visit for 2 hours!) almost every country in the world, normally for weeks on end in each nation, often hmosted by generous families and new friends. From the corners of the smallest Pacific island nations to huge continental size countries like Australia and India, I’ve seen  just how diverse the people of our world are. It can’t help but make one reflect on who we are, who I am.


As a brand ambassador for my favourite flight search engine, momondo (seriously, check it out – I never use any other flight search engine), they are motivated to see what it means to have a national identity, and how deep-down, we are all connected as one. So, I was offered the opportunity to delve truly deep into the idea of where I come from.  Last year,  momondo ran a programme called Let’s Open Our World where you could send them your DNA to them and they research where exactly your bloodlines and heritage come from. As a full-time traveler, I thought the prospect of this was fascinating, but also a little daunting, who knows what new info could be found?

momondo brand ambassador
My home DNA kit from Momondo

I had the kit sent to my home in Ireland, popped the plastic cap, took part in the saliva collection, strapped it up and sent it to the US for the lab inspection. For me, this was quite a scary reality. I come from a single parent family, growing up just with my mum and sister, and I’ve never known my father, so aside from a few questions to my mum now and again, we were completely unaware of his bloodline, which meant 50% of my genetics were unmapped, until now.

johnny ward ireland
The kit ready to send off…


I sent the package away around the end of December and finally got it back about 2 weeks ago in early February. In all honesty, I was terrified opening the results. I have no idea why, and I hadn’t expected to be so nervous, but suddenly all kind of thoughts shot through my mind. Who was my dad? Maybe he lied to my mum about his nationality, his family lines, anything was possible. I waited about 2 hours before I finally opened the results. Finally, I plucked up the courage and this is what I found:

  • 46% Irish
  • 44% British
  • 4% Scandanavian
  • 2% Finish/North Russian
  • 1% Italian/Greek
  • >1% Spanish/Portugese
  • >1% Central Asian
  •  >1% South Asian
  •  >1% Middle Eastern
Momondo brand ambassador
My results….

Wow. So my Irish side comes from my father (a Catholic from the Republic of Ireland), 44% comes from my mother (a Protestant from Northern Ireland, so presumably originally British a few hundred years ago), but the rest – Scandanavia, Italian, Central and Southern Asian?! Crazy, but amazing and so, so fascinating

It raises more questions than it does provide answers, but I can’t wait to delve deeper into this information and find just how I have these traces from around the world. It also makes me think more about my identity, and who I am on a deeper level. Nature versus nurture. Religion. Everything. But ultimately it reinforces that we’re all just people, trying to make our way in the world, trying to make our family proud and happy, providing for loved ones and trying to enjoy the ride.

After all my travels, I have appreciated this reality more and more, and my DNA journey confirms just that. I’m sure lots of you guys are keen to do something similar, so if you want to check out your DNA journey, here’s how:


Firstly, it’s only about $100. Pretty awesome considering how in-depth it is. Check out (NOTE: I have no affiliation with these guys, I just think this kind of thing is awesome!). You get the pack sent to your address, snap the vial, spit some saliva into it, send it off, and wait 1-2 months for the results. Simple!

 Check out Momondo’s discoveries on other people’s DNA journeys:

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