Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel

Extracts from Elite Daily, March 3, 2015

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 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.

According to recent scientific claims, it may have been embedded in your DNA, even before that. One research suggest that the inherent urge to travel can be traced back to one gene, 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.

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.

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.”