The Wanderlust Gene


Wanderlust Chronicles thoughts about The Wanderlust Gene

So, a little known fact, I, Kate, have a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science with an extended major in human genetics and Leesa, the other half of this blog, is a registered nurse, who graduated with distinctions no less. So, if we weren’t so consumed by Wanderlust, I would probably be a geneticist exploring the world of genes and the role they play in our lives and Leesa, would be a nurse with very restless feet. That’s why, when this article about ‘The Wanderlust Gene’ started circulating, I knew we had to cover it here on our travel blog.
The Dopamine Receptor D4 with a 7R variant (DRD4) has been dubbed ‘The Wanderlust Gene’. Every person carries the DRD4 gene but only 20% of the world’s population is believed to have the 7R variant allele. This variant allele is believed to be linked to behaviours such as, curiosity, restlessness, longevity, and risk-taking. Thus, these findings may be the biological reason behind wanderlusters with restless feet.
The geneticist in me and the girl who got 7s in her biology courses in Leesa would like to believe that there is a biological reason for our inability to stay in one place for more than a few months. But the truth is, that, although genes are the blueprints for our biological makeup, they do not dictate our lives. In fact, environmental factors play a large part in the ultimate outcome of our genetic basis, and therefore, without a means or the support of our families to see the world, we may not have left the comfort of our homes at all.
So, whether or not you possess ‘The Wanderlust Gene’, forge your own path in the world and stay true to who you are. If you are comfortable where you are, then cosy up to your loved ones and read a great book, because home is where the heart is. Or if you are an avid traveller with an insatiable desire to wander, like ourselves, follow your heart, not your genes, and get out there and see this great planet, because when you look around, this life is pretty amazing.
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