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.”
Read more about The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel by Dan Scotti on Elite Daily.