Born to Travel: The Wanderlust Gene

You've probably heard about or experienced wanderlust plenty during your lifetime, but what about the Wanderlust Gene? What exactly is this gene, and what exactly is wanderlust itself?
  1. a strong desire to travel.
    "a man consumed by wanderlust"

Adventure Pixabay Public Domain

Do you ever feel like you were born to travel, that there is a deeper yearning within you to see the unseen that goes beyond simple desire?

Well, it turns out, you may be right!

Genetically speaking, there is a specific gene, DRD4-7R, directly linked to feelings of curiosity and restlessness. Many psychologists are dubbing this gene the 'wanderlust gene', correlating those feelings of unrest directly with the desire to travel. It is suggested that 20% of the population possesses this gene.

The idea goes beyond simple DNA sampling, though, linking back to humanity's origin in Africa. Let us explain.

In a 1999 study, Chunsheng Chen concluded that assuming all humanity did indeed originate in Africa, the further away your ancestors traveled from the motherland, the greater the chance of having this gene. It is almost as if being away from 'home' has embedded a deep, genetic need to see more or to find your true home.

“...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.” - Chen

So what do you think, is your desire to travel genetic, or simply a desire to see what you haven't already?