Do you have the wanderlust gene?

In the endlessly insightful words of Drake, if we get exactly what we ask for, we’d be running out of pages in our passports
Do you have the wanderlust gene?

We’d be lying if we said the word “summer” doesn’t hit us right in our holiday feels, especially when the only light we’re getting is from our glowing phone screens scrolling through an Instagram feed with sadly one too many posts under the hashtag #holidaygoals.

And let’s not forget our commitment anxiety rearing its ugly head when we sign a long-term tenancy contract, or realise we only have three odd days left of vacation time.

If you’re now experiencing a bit of déjà vu, you might, like us, have a very serious case of wanderlust.

After you’ve somehow ended up at check-out on a flight deal website one too many times, and ended up purchasing yet another neck pillow, it begs the question: Why exactly do we love to travel? Lucky for us, science has it all figured out.

As it turns out, human beings have always been predisposed to travel, considering through 99 oer cent of human history, our ancestors have existed in nomadic communities, following seasons, opportunities and hunting. The earliest human settlements only popped up after the development of agriculture. If anything, this tells us it might even be evolutionarily beneficial to pack up and travel (maybe not for hunting, though). We’re pretty sure Bora Bora definitely has some evolutionary benefits somewhere.

As glamorous as air travel may seem (it really isn’t), that’s not what wanderlust is all about. It’s about the novelty of experiencing new places (and, in our case, food). Studies show that the human mind finds novelty pleasurable, giving us a boost in motivation and dopamine. This could also explain why we have fifty pairs of pink shoes but still need that new one.

Ever feel your inner child come out on holiday? You’re not the only one. We can attribute the feeling of wanderlust to a characteristic called neotany, which is science-speak for our retention of child-like curiosity despite our years. Neotany is the reason for our curiosity towards experiencing new things.

Most interesting of all, we think, could be the genetic variant, DRD4-7R, which has been dubbed “the wanderlust gene”. The variant plays into our basic characteristics of impulsivity, adventurousness and novelty-seeking behaviour, tying into our love of travel which feeds these characteristics. Who knew travelling could actually run in the family?

In case you can’t afford to travel just yet, here are the people to live your best life through.

Raha Moharrak

Nadya Hasan (@thefierce_nay)

A post shared by Nadya Hasan (@thefierce_nay) on

Ghida Arnaout (@monkyseemonkydo)

Haifa Beseisso

Michelle Karam (@traveljunkiediary)

Enough said.

Photos: iStock, Supplied and Instagram