Society falls into two distinct camps – those who love to travel and those that would much prefer to stay at home. I am firmly entrenched in the former. A well-seasoned traveller, I love nothing more than immersing myself in other countries traditions, lapping up their culture & basking in the buzz that only travel to a foreign land can give.
Are you unfazed by heading off into the unknown or quite content to stay put?
I’ve wondered about my travel bug for some time, particularly since having kids, something I thought would ground me. It’s true my restlessness was quelled over the baby years, when easy trips to Europe were a quick fix, but looking at other content Mothers around me – I’ve still wondered what’s wrong with me?
Nothing it would seem!
Scientists have identified a wanderlust gene – DRD4-7R – a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain (which gives us feelings of pleasure and motivation). Those that have the DRD4-7R gene are more disposed to increased levels of curiosity and restlessness. This gene has been linked with human migration, and what’s more, only one fifth of us have it.
This would certainly explain the inherent restlessness in me to explore, to adventure, to get on the road. I’m just wired differently.
So it would seem it’s official and it’s a relief to know that there could be a valid explanation for the fact I could easily pack up the family and trot off to pastures new without a second thought.
People with the DRD4-7r gene, have been linked to traits like novelty and adventure-seeking characteristics, extraversion, environmental sensitivity, risk taking and impulsivity. According to LoPorto, while carriers of this genetic variant might be “incredibly resourceful, pioneering, creative,” and more predisposed for wanderlust, they also might be “utterly out of control.”
It’s scarily close to the bone! But it feels good to know – at last.
So if you’ve ever had the feeling you don’t fit in, fail to put down roots or just bored stupid with static life, you can feel safe in the knowledge there’s another 20% of the population feeling the exact same way & if you take the plunge and go, you’ll be well on your way to meeting them!
…I have always had this ‘GENE”, I left home first at 4 !!! and then waited until 17 to go the Holland looking after show dogs ..just to travel ! Not sure anyone els in my family ha sit ;0( xx
Thanks Elizabeth for your comment. Yes if you’ve got the gene, you’ve just got to go – whatever way can get you there! Thanks for visiting our blog.
As always, spot on , Mags…
Thanks for visiting our blog Tim and your kind words.
Great article, good to know that are itchy feet and search for different experiences and places is explained by science. I thought the same that when I had kids my parental instinct may curb the desire to travel, but not the case and continuing to do so (with family safety in mind), I just love to see the look on my boys face when we explore new places.
Thanks Jay. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Yes it explains a lot doesn’t it. After a lot of soul searching in the early days I’ve just come to accept that it’s part of me and just to get on with it! We’ve had amazing experiences with our two girls travelling and believe travelling is a fabulous experience and education for children. Thanks for visiting our blog.