Wanderlust gene

Most of us think of travel as a break from the monotony of everyday life. When we hear the word travel we imagine sun-kissed beaches, lush green foliage, clouds drifting over beautiful mountains, a cozy room, great company and above all a refreshing change. A change that allows us to relax, forget day to day hardships of life and puts us in this Utopian world where time stops still. After spending glorious hours in this kind of travel, however, we are back to our lives, ever so ready to take on the monotonous challenges it has to offer.


But for some of us, the urge to travel may be slightly more than this. Some of us are said to have been born with the wanderlust gene. It is a mutated form of the DRD4 gene which is related to increased dopamine levels in the brain. Some studies have found that this mutant gene is directly related to increased curiosity and restlessness in our bearing. This makes us want to travel, take risks, explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or other opportunities. This gene prevents us from stagnating and this information is embedded in our DNA. People with this genetic mutation have one thing in common which is the history of travel. Most of them originate from families or communities which have traveled or relocated from place to place. Probably that is why the presence of this gene gives nomadic tendencies to the people carrying them, not allowing them to ‘settle down’ and keep moving from one place to another or one idea to another.


This person is not a regular man trying to get away from work or traveling because he committed to his family that he would take them out on trips 2 times in a year. He travels because he has an intense urge for self-development by experiencing the unknown, confronting unforeseen challenges, getting to know unfamiliar cultures, ways of life and behavior or he is driven by the desire to escape and leave behind depressive feelings. Some of us can relate to this feeling of being so overwhelmed by the creation of God or man that it leaves an indelible impression on our minds. This creative genius inspires us to believe in the existence of something bigger and gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

 I still remember my first trip when I visited the Taj Mahal and how the intricate cutout work on its beautiful marble left me awestruck. It was a place where I felt like imagination had finally met reality and reality was so much better. Maybe I was a child and my inexperienced and innocent eyes failed to catch the flaws or the stains rapidly forming on the white marble.I remember a similar experience in Dilwara temple in Mount Abu, where the superior craftsmanship made me believe in the power of creativity.The beautifully crafted tapering ceilings depicting stories of the Jain Tirthankaras made very less sense to me from a religious standpoint but the craftsmanship blew my mind. I remember thinking how was it possible for artists with such limited resources to create a thing of such beauty. Then there were the breathtaking Kumaon hills where I remember wondering how people managed to get any work done with such immaculate beauty around them. Then there was the dense jungle of Assam and the thrill of exploring the narrow paths and catching a glimpse of the majestic animals that call it their home. Every trip every experience enriched me so much that I did not realize that the hunger for more growing inside.

Once I entered adulthood I realized that there was no way I could be in one place for long. The world around us seemed to call out to me and it created a tendency to leave everything and disappear in its warm embrace. Since then I have been on some very exciting and beautiful trips. I would like to share the same with you. Hope the others like me will benefit from the information we share and it will bring a far away place close to you.

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