WWW & The Wanderlust Gene

Before getting into my list for today’s “Where Was She Wednesday,” I want to share an interesting bit of travel-related news I just read about.

I’ve always been aware of a certain “high” feeling I get when I travel somewhere new. It’s a dopamine-like rush that’s hard to describe – it’s not just a psychological (“Wow, this place is fascinating!”) or emotional (“I love this place so much!”) response… it’s an actual physical response. Goose bumps, racing heart, and lightheadedness are just a few of the sensations I’ve sometimes experienced during an exceptionally awesome moment on a cool trip. I imagine it’s something like an athlete’s endorphin rush (although I’m such a fitness-sloth that I wouldn’t know about that first-hand) or an addict’s uncontrollable urge for “more! more! more!” Kinda weird, right?

Well, guess what I just found out? It’s not just me!

Recently, it has been discovered that some of us possess a special gene that predisposes us to being insanely turned on by travel. A wanderlust gene, if you will. It can be scientifically detected – it’s not imagined…

“Scientists have recently revealed the existence of genome DRD4-7R, a variant of dopaminergic neuro-receptor dubbed ‘the Wanderlust Gene’. According to researcher David Dobbs, around twenty per cent of us have it: amongst its traits, according to Dobbs, a stronger urge to explore new places, ideas, foods and relationships, as well as a tendency to embrace adventure, movement and change.”

(July 2015, Gecko Tales)

Intrigued? You can read the whole article here. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the wanderlust gene, especially if you think you have it too!

And now for the WWW list. Here are the places I’ve been reading about, reminiscing about, and (privately) journalling about this past week:

  • 10/22/90 – Brisbane, Australia

    The Glass House Mountains are connected to a fascinating aboriginal legend, a cautionary tale about the importance of courage. You can read about it here.

    The Glass House Mountains are connected to a cool aboriginal legend, a cautionary tale about the importance of courage. You can read about it here.

  • 10/23/90 – Bus Tour of Sunshine Coast, including Maleny, Yandina, Noosa, Glass House Mountains, a pineapple plantation, and Mooloolaba
  • 10/23–25/90 – two days of royal treatment at the Mooloolaba beach house of a couple that we had met on our Great Barrier Reef sailing trip the previous week. After a lot of trepidation (should we call? shouldn’t we call?) we tracked down a pay phone while on a break from our bus tour and reached out to Barry and Betty who had asked us to look them up if we were ever in the area. (We didn’t know then that Aussies are not at all like Canadians – when they say “you should come visit us sometime” to someone they just met, it’s not just a polite gesture… they actually mean it!)
    Mooloolaba Beach – where we soaked up the sun and were treated like long-lost relatives

    Mooloolaba Beach – where we soaked up the sun and were treated like long-lost relatives

    Were we ever happy we decided to call. Turns out that Barry was there alone, without his wife and daughters, and he was thrilled to have us stay and fill in as family. Barry insisted on treating us as his guests; he really wanted to show off some famous of that Australian hospitality. The whole visit was wonderful but what stands out in my memory most was dinner at an awesome steakhouse. What a treat after weeks of hostel food (rice, beans, eggs, spaghetti). Have I mentioned yet that Donna and I were getting by on a $48/day budget during our trip? Yes indeed! And that included accommodation. Needless to say, there hadn’t been any steak in our journey up until that point.

  • 10/26/90 – back in Brisbane
  • 10/27–28/90 – Byron Bay: just chilled in a laid-back hippie/surfer town. (I was too chicken to try surfing, but I did hang with a few Aussie hippies!) Interestingly, I wrote about how nice it was to be unscheduled and not on the move for a couple of quiet days. Despite my wanderlust gene, I guess once in a while even I needed to stay put…

One thought on “WWW & The Wanderlust Gene

  1. Pingback: Je Pense à Paris | dustyjournals

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