Why Some People Are Born To Travel

I defenitely have the “Wanderlust Gene”. Thought this chronicle was so good, so I had to share it with you, with some “extra punctations” made to be more me.

There are some people who never feel the urge to leave the house. They’re content to stay in the city they came from, the couch they sit on, and the 360 degrees that immediately surround them.

Then there’s the rest of us: the people who can’t sit still, perhaps meditate to Anthony Bourdain, and always keep their passports on them – just in case.

Whether you call it wanderlust, a love of travel or regular old curiosity – the fact remains the same: Your hunger to explore simply cannot be quenched, no matter how many vacations or journeys you take.

For you, there’s always something new to see, something different than you’re used to. You enjoy day trips, but you also realize there’s only so much you can see in 24 hours. You’re into one-way flights and trips without a destination.

Destinations require plans, and you’re not into the whole planning thing. Plans insinuate an underlying purpose, and from your experience, traveling without one always leads to more excitement.

You’ve been this way for as long as you can remember – which probably dates back to your first few trips growing up, boarding that plane to Disney World every few winters, as a child.

According to recent scientific claims, it may have been embedded in your DNA, even before that.

As told on one psychology blog, the inherent urge to travel can be traced back to one gene, which is a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain.

The gene itself, which is identified as DRD4-7R, has been dubbed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part. In reality, however, those who carry this genetic information typically share one common theme, a history of traveling.

The gene is not all too common; in fact, it’s only possessed by about 20 percent of the population. Having said that, there is a much higher prevalence of this gene in regions of the globe where travel has been encouraged in its past.

Assuming that all forms of human life originated in Africa, Chaunsheng Chen, who conducted a study in 1999, supported the premise that “the DRD4-7r form of the gene [is] more likely to occur in modern day societies where people migrated longer differences from where we first originated in Africa many thousands of years ago.”

In short, here, Chen implies that civilizations that have diverged further from Africa, the theoretical origin of mankind, are allegedly more susceptible to being carriers of this mutant DRD4-7r gene that is linked to “curiosity and restless.”

According to David Dobbs, the mutant form of the DRD4 gene, 7r, results in people who are “more likely to take risks; explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or sexual opportunities,” he went on to say that bearers of this gene, “generally embrace movement, change, and adventure.”

When compared to sedentary populations, or those who have stayed in the same region for most of their existence, members of present day migratory populations – those with a history of relocating, over time – tend to carry the 7r gene much more commonly.
At the same time, it’s definitely important to consider this study done by Garret LoPorto of Huffington Post.

So, while you might have the urge to quit work and travel for the next few months – stop and make sure you’re thinking rationally. Although, like I said, traveling is always more fun without a plan.




13 reaktion på “Why Some People Are Born To Travel

  1. Rodanthi Dimou

    I love your spirit! I always wanted to travel a lot, but I haven’t been able to do that, at least not in the degree I would like to! I have never heard of the “wanderlust gene” before! Good to know! I think I may have it in me!


    The science of why people have the urge to travel and it’s in the genes! Amazing. Travel agencies and anyone related to the tourism industry must drool knowing 20% of the population have this urge to travel. That is like over a billion customers. 🙂

    P.S. Your images throughout the posts are missing. Are they being pulled from FB? Better for images to be uploaded as part of content.

    1. Vicktoria Inläggsförfattare

      yeah, I saw that they disappeard, I’m gonna check it out. thanks for the feedback 🙂

  3. Joanna

    I didn’t know that there is actually a scientific explanation for the traveling bug. My parents are not travelers, nor my grandparents. I am the only one in the family that has chosen this road so I’m wondering, which one of my ancestors had the gene. 🙂

  4. Sidney Aldaine

    Man, that was an unexpected turn! I started reading about wanderlust and finished with genes. But I didn`t know there is something that makes us programmed to travel. I always thought it`s a need every one of us shares but some learnt to subdue it deep inside. Thanks for an interesting perspective.


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