According To Research There’s A Scientific Reason Why We Love To Travel

by Sanjana Shenoy
According To Research There’s A Scientific Reason Why We Love To Travel

You know that restless feeling, when you feel like stepping away from your office desk, impulsively booking your tickets and plunging into a new place, new culture and just new vibe. Well, travel makes you happy. It gives you the adrenaline rush of a lifetime in just a few days of exploration. It feeds your soul and brings you closer to yourself and the ones you love. Science agrees with this too. In fact, according to science, there is a scientific reason why we love to travel.

What’s The Study About?

Research and studies over the years have proven a link between excess dopamine in the brain and a person’s tendency to engage in dangerous and impulsive behaviours. The surplus dopamine in a person’s brain is associated with a specific variant of the DRD4 gene. this codes for a single type of dopamine receptor called the 7R+ allele. This gene has been tied to addiction and gambling which are serious issues. But it does explain an individual’s compulsion and strong urge to travel.

An evolutionary biologist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, Justin Garcia stated that the extra dopamine and the DRD4 gene may be the reasons behind the prehistoric man’s behaviour to leave home and explore territories in the hope of seeking food, mates and shelter. Those survival needs may no longer be of use in today’s world but the biological background might have transformed into modern-day wanderlust. So the next time you think wanderlust, you must have the image of a prehistoric man in your mind.

Also Read: Study Suggests Social Media Increases Risk Of Mental Health Issues

What’s More?

Most scientific explanations for why we love travelling attribute this as a combination of nature and nurture. But Justin Garcia stated that the DRD4 gene is a significant explanation of why some people deem travelling to be exciting and others as terrifying. An anthropologist at Binghamton University, J. Koji Lum explained the same concept further to the writer Kayt Sukel in her book, The Art of Risk. When it comes to studies, Tea Drinkers Have Healthier Brains.

J Koji Lum states that DRD4 is one gene and even though its contribution to any complex behaviour, might be a small one, but those small differences add up. He further explains that assessing risks is like running an algorithm in one’s head. The different genetic variants mean that the algorithm might be operating at slightly different levels in different people. So people run slightly different algorithms to assess whether they will take a risk or not. And ultimately those small differences in algorithms would lead to different people living different lives, taking different risks. So the next time you think of yourself as a restless, wanderlust soul know that you might find the roots to your behaviour in your biology. Did you know Studies Reveal That Solo Travellers Are More Intelligent?