One of the most common questions I get when people interview me about my blog, is what motivates me to travel the world.
Honestly, I have problems answering that question. Travelling is just something I have loved to do as long as I can remember. I have always hated to just stay in the house, and need something to happen around me. I have always been really curious. As a child, I needed to be entertained, if not I got bored. Which was a bit irritating for my family, and I was told by them to have that problem my whole childhood.
This is also well demonstrated in a diary my mom have kept for me since the day I was born until I was around seven years old. Yesterday, I was reading through it while demonstrating it to my husband.
This is what we found written from the summer when I was six years old: “This summer have been warm and boring. Mom and dad use all their time working in the new house. But I want to travel.”
That summer I had been begging my parents to travel. But we had just build a new house, and they needed to spend their time to finish it. Also there were no money. It was not the first summer I begged my parents to take me on travels, I know about many summers and winters after as well.
My husband laughed reading this in the diary, because I am exactly the same today. Because I beg him to go travel with me, all the time! It is just me having the urge to travel, then and still.
So maybe I am born with the desire to travel? Because several scientist claim that this urge to travel can be found in the DNA. They found that it can be traced back to the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain. They call this gene the “wanderlust gene”. The gene correlate with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness. And they found that people with this gene share a common theme – a history of travelling.
Furthermore, it was found that people with this gene are not into planning, despite that destinations require plans. The people with the “wanderlust gene” usually thinks that travelling without a plan leads to more excitements. Here they just described me! I never plan a trip!
LoPorto, claims that people with the gene can be incredibly resourceful, pioneering, and creative. However, often they are not that rational, and can be out of control. Almost all of my friends my age here in Norway have been working for many years, they have house and car. I do not have any of that. I travel even if I do not have money. I have not had a reasonable payed job for years. Most people would not call that rational.
That being said, the “wanderlust gene” is not too common. Only 20 percent of the population is born with this gene. However, they found that the prevalence of this gene is much higher in areas where travel has been encouraged in the past.
Furthermore, Chen found in his study that the DRD4 gene, is more likely found in people living in modern day societies. He also claim that you can find the gene more often far from Africa. This because if we assume that all human life originated in Africa, the ancestors of the people with the gene migrated longer to settle, many thousand years ago. The same find Dobbs.
I grew up in Norway – pretty far from where we humans originated in Africa. I am from a modern society with a past history of encouraged travel. And I just fit in all the descriptions of people having the gene.
So, I think I am born with the wanderlust gene… And maybe that can explain where my urge to travel the world comes from…
Where does your passion of travel come from?