Ana Raab

Blog

During the summer of 2016, I traveled overseas completely on my own for the first time. Over the course of seven weeks, I wandered through Scandinavia exploring the Swedish heritage of my grandmother, made my way to Berlin by train, and confronted the stark beauty of Iceland—stretching myself along the way.

Follow my past and current journeys here.

Ingemar

Meet Ingemar Lundell, age 95. Visiting him for the first time was a beautiful moment I won't soon forget. He and my maternal grandmother, Elsa, are cousins and though they never met, she would be around his same age were she still alive. Elsa's father and Ingemar's father were brothers, and in the early 1900's one brother "went over" (as they say here) while the other remained in Sweden along with siblings, never to cross paths again. Of course the brother that emigrated is my great-grandfather who eventually settled in Alaska, married a fellow emigrated Swede and raised a family of five children including my grandmother; never returning to his home country. Imagine what sort of completely different life would have unfolded had he stayed in Sweden! Family history is so nuts and magical.