Genetic Nomad

Adventures from life on the Arctic Tundra

About Genetic Nomad



Welcome to the Genetic Nomad blog.  I’m Laura, and I started this blog to document my life and travels in the Arctic, as well as to very occasionally share news and information I find on the cultural implications of genetic testing – meaning the emerging impacts of discovering one’s roots through science.

How’d I get here?  Through a DNA test nearly three years ago, I discovered my very deep ties to the region  through my genetic connection to the original people of the land – the Sami, the oldest indigenous culture in Northern Europe.  Several exploratory visits to meet and learn about the Sami, and my life was changed in profound ways, so much so that after more than a decade of living in New York, the draw to this part of the world became irresistable, and so I decided to pack up my city life and move to Kautokeino,                    (Guovdageaidnu in Sami) the heart of Sami reindeer herding culture in Arctic Norway.  My day job is media consultant and writer, a job that thankfully, has been portable.  I’m also formally learning Sami Language at Sami Allaskulva, the Sami University, and learning about all things Sami, including herding life.

For me, the result of finding my origin through science was life-changing, and I believe the impact of this newly available testing has resonance for just about everyone, everywhere, and will have profound ramifications for cultures and societies around the world.  On this blog, I want to share with you my journey and everything I’m experiencing as I learn to manage Arctic life – and of course, all things Sami.

Bures bures, as we say in Sami: welcome!



  1. What a beautiful story !

  2. So happy to see your wonderful blog out on the Net for us to enjoy! Fiona

  3. Jennifer Kahn

    June 12, 2014 at 22:01

    Hi Laura,

    Julia Cosgrove, from AFAR, pointed me to your blog. I’ll be traveling to Sapmi in late July to hike part of the Kungsleden, in Sweden. At the risk of doing “drive-by” journalism, I was hoping to include some discussion of modern Sami life and issues. In your May 26 post, you mentioned Olivier Truc, and I thought that he might be a good person to speak with while I’m in Stockholm (if he has the time). If you’re willing to put us in touch, I’d be grateful. Forty Days Without Shadow looks great, by the way!

    Many thanks, Jenn

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