Her Favorite Hobby Is Traveling, But Never Knew It Was For THIS Reason. I'm So Surprised!
Andrew Axelrod 6/28/2016
Are you overtaken by wanderlust on a regular basis? The reason might be genetic.
Traveling Is In Our DNA
DRD4-7R is a derivative of DRD4, which is associated with dopamine. The gene has been called the "wanderlust gene," it's been shown to correlate restlessness and curiosity.
Prevalence Of The Gene
Only about 1 in 5 people have the gene, these people often have a history of traveling.
It's Location Based
A study conducted in 1999 found the gene was more prevalent in areas where travel was likely.
"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."
Thus, the further away from Africa, the more likely a person is to have the travel gene.
DRD4-7r Makes People Take Risks
Another study by David Dobbs of National Geographic suggested DRD4-7r isn't only associated with travel.
"Studies have found that 7R makes people more likely to take risks; explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or sexual opportunities; and generally embrace movement, change, and adventure."
Dobbs also agreed with Chan that the gene is related to human migration.
Skepticism From Peers
Kenneth Kidd of Yale University is skeptical of the connection.
"You just can't reduce something as complex as human exploration to a single gene."
Agreement on the travel gene is anything but unanimous.
These Bodies Were Made For Walking
Dobbs also pointed out that our bodies are made for travel.
"...such as legs and hips that let us walk long distances; clever, clever hands; and an even cleverer brain that grows far more slowly but much larger than other ape brains."
These genetic differences made us well suited for migrating very large distances.
Adventure Is Worthwhile
Garret LoPorto of Huffington Post found that while carriers of the gene might be up for travel they experience more neanderthal-like behavior and might be a little "out of control."
So if you want to travel, travel! Just make sure you're not thinking with your ape brain.