A journal through the Czech Republic of one woman's trip with her brother to discover her late husband's heritage.


Discovering your Heritage

Written by Haley Beham 

My grandparents have always loved to travel. I have a very clear memory of my immediate family traveling with my grandparents and aunt to New Mexico. We spent a day driving in jeeps through the mountains. Their vehicle was in front of ours and we all laughed as their heads bopped this way and that at exactly the same time. I don’t actually remember much from that trip, but that memory I do have of traveling with them still makes me laugh. 

My grandfather’s family is from a little town in the Czech Republic – Horni Cermna. He always said he wanted to travel there to see where he was from, but he never got the chance. Two years ago, my parents went to the Czech Republic to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary and look into my dad’s heritage. While they were there, they visited the small town of Horni Cermna and tracked down records to find out where my grandfather’s family had lived. They were able to find out where his great, great grandfather was born and where the original house once stood, but it sadly had been destroyed by a fire and another house rebuilt on the site. It was a meaningful trip discovering his heritage. 

Memaw And James

Then, last month, my grandmother Memaw and her brother James took the same trip my parents took so that Memaw could see where my grandfather’s family had come from. They spent several days in Prague then continued onto the countryside and Horni Cermna. 

For their trip, Ker & Downey used one of our favorite guides, Marketa, to accompany them through the Czech Republic. The benefit of working with a travel company like Ker & Downey is our connection to trusted local guides. Throughout the trip, we were in contact with Marketa to make sure the trip was going smoothly for Memaw and James. She even sent daily text and photo updates so we could keep track of their travels. 

Countryside Discoveries

After a few days spent touring Prague, Memaw, James, and Marketa drove to Horni Cermna to spend a little time seeing where my Pepaw’s family had come from. Today, there are around 1,000 people that live in the town. 

Then they continued their journey with stops in small towns in the countryside. In Za Mlynem Penzion, they enjoyed a children’s performance of local music. 

Heritage Travel Czech Prague

Moments in Prague

Memaw, James, and Marketa then returned to Prague for a little more touring and lunch at Marketa’s home where James was in charge of picking which beer to have with the meal. That evening, Memaw and James enjoyed a sunset dinner cruise before saying farewell to Prague the next day. 

My grandmother’s trip to the Czech Republic truly was a trip of a lifetime. It’s never too late to explore the world. When you’re ready, we’re here to help. 

Heritage Travel with Ker & Downey

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