Discovering her roots. Fixer Upper: Welcome Home stars Chip and Joanna Gaines and their large family traveled across the world to visit South Korea.
“When the jet lag sets in…,” Joanna, 44, captioned an Instagram Reel shared on Tuesday, April 4, of herself looking dazed and exhausted, as The Beatles’ “I’m So Tired” played in the background.
The following day, the former HGTV star shared a series of photos and videos of the family trip to her Instagram Story.
“Teaching us about custom when drinking tea,” she wrote over a short clip as she, Chip, 48, and an older Korean couple sat on the floor while enjoying a cup of tea. In another snap, the pair were seen strolling down a sidewalk holding their youngest son’s hand before stopping to smell the flowers.
The couple – who share sons Drake, Duke and Crew, as well as daughters Ella and Emmie Kay – were accompanied by members of Joanna’s family, including her mother, Nan Stevens, who is Korean. The Home Body author’s sisters, Teresa Criswell and Mikey McCall, as well as their families, were also seen in photos from the getaway. Her father, Jerry Stevens, who is of German and Lebanese descent, was not seen in any of the footage, but has been married to her mother since 1972.
The Magnolia Network owner has been open about her struggles to accept her Asian heritage growing up in rural Kansas.
“I don’t know that I ever told you this, but I always wanted to say I was sorry for living in halfness,” she told her mother during a November 2022 episode of her “The Stories We Tell” podcast. “And not fully embracing the most beautiful thing about myself, which was you. The culture that was half of me as a Korean little girl, as a Korean teenager, as a Korean woman.”
She went on to say that she “didn’t fully own” who she was until she was a senior in college when she explored Koreatown in New York City.
“That I am this culture, this Korean history, this Korean story, my Korean mother, my Korean grandmother. That’s the richest part of who I am. And walking in the fullness of that really changed the narrative for me,” she continued. “I just wanted to tell you mom, that I now am fully in a place of just complete pride.”
In her 2022 New York Times bestseller, The Stories We Tell, Jo opened up about being bullied for being biracial in her youth saying, “I tried my best to fit in.”
“Acting as though I didn’t get their Makeup-photos-bare-faced-pictures/”>jokes about my slanted eyes or hear their whispers when I’d opt for rice instead of fries in the cafeteria line,” she wrote. “The biggest thing for me was because it wasn’t dealt with, it resurfaced in different ways,” she later said during a November 2022 appearance on Today.
Keep scrolling to see photos of the Gaines family’s trip to South Korea.