The Science Behind Wanderlust

Turns out there just might be a very real reason I start to get the shakes if I’m not travelling enough: Genes.

Read More: The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel

It seems that scientists have identified the DRD4-7R gene as being tied to wanderlust and exploration. And they believe roughly 20% of the world’s population has the travel version of the gene, though it is concentrated in certain regions of the globe, places where people often have traveled more.


I’ve never really felt a need to have my genome sequenced as I was pretty sure there’s nothing useful to find in there. But this just might change my mind. Then again, I know I love to travel and explore; why do I need a doctor to tell me why that’s the case. The “what” is far more important in this scenario, at least for me.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. In case any of you reading this happen to have your genetic data available: the SNP #, as best as I can tell, is Rs1800955. I checked my 23andme results, and that one does not seem to be included in their genotyping. Though I had mine done a few years ago, so maybe they’ve added it since then.

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