If you are one of those who can’t just stay at home during a long weekend, who is constantly looking for travel offers online and always thinking about your travel destination… if you feel wanderlust could be because you have it your genes!
In December 2013 a random psychology blog raised the flag about it, the desire to travel could be due to a variation of the DRD4 gene who is related with the levels of dopamine in the brain.
The gene itself identified as DRD4-7R and it’s been called the wanderlust gene, since apparently everyone who has it, carries with him a history of traveling. Apparently only a 20% of the people have it and is more common among a person whose origin is a place where traveling was more encouraged in the past.
Chaunsheng Chen, who carried out a study in 1999 under the Evolution and Human Behaviour project, the gene should be more present in the people who emigrated from Africa thousands of years ago. Another study done by David Dobbs in National Geographic, agreed with that statement and added that people with this gene are more keen to take risks: explore new places, food, relations and so on.
Anyway there are also reason to doubt about the wanderlust gene. Kenneth Kidd, genetics professor and Yale University said that “You cannot reduce some so complex like the human exploration to a single gene”. Another geneticist, Jim Noonan, added that people with the DRD4-7R could have a different genetic evolution, a bit different brain who encourages curiosity more than usually does and that could be the reason of the behavioral difference.
Finally Garret LoPort publish an article at Huffington Post staying that, even though this gene is be very positive for world exploration, could be also related with a Neanderthal behavior, being something difficult to control.
In any case, either is in our genes or not, we personally think feeling wanderlust is something totally healthy. In suah a big world full of amazing places to be discovered, why shouldn’t you want to do it? 😉