I became conscious of my heritage when I first started to study history in high school. As I gained knowledge of world events and their effect on peoples, I naturally connected to that which my ancestors may have been involved with. As well as how these events extended to other peoples. It didn't take long before I realized we all make up a world community and that borders and labels have led to prideful conflict and misunderstandings throughout history.
As I matured I was able to travel to the lands of my forefathers and absolutely fell in love with one of those destinations. I was also glad to find that people around the world are not so different from each other when we get face-to-face.
In recent time, I married an individual from another continent and the opposite hemisphere. It is amazing to us how similar we are at the core of being, even though we our recent living histories are quite diverse from each other. The important things are we laugh, love, listen to and learn from each other. Understanding and choosing early on in our lives made it possible to see people for who they are and continually learning what that is, not who we "think" or convince ourselves "know" they are.