Life of adventure, Musings of ordinary life

Wired to Travel

“The compulsion to see

what lies beyond that far ridge or that ocean

—or this planet—

is a defining part

of human identity and success.”

While most people are content to find an oasis or perhaps another slice of paradise to escape their daily grind for a few weeks of the year.  There are others, like us, with whom itchy feet is a natural affliction and one that we welcome with open arms.  Our motivation to travel is more than one to escape from the day to day boredom.

Our desire to travel and be housesitters.

With my history of travelling.  Pushing the boundaries in so many activities over the years.  Some of these reasons have lead me to research why some of us humans are inclined to do so.  According to research, one in four people have the so-called “explorer gene”, a DRD4-7R dopamine-receptor variant.  Sometimes referred to as the less-clunky 7R, that has links to curiosity and restlessness.  Studies show that people in possession of the 7R receptor are more likely to take on risky activity and explore new places, new ideas on how to do things differently, and being more passionate about embracing change and adventure.

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Many of these 7R’s apparently gravitate to high achievers, entrepreneurs, that meet their need for a bigger bang.  While those like us tend to that take on what can be classed as more menial or safer jobs are inclined to indulge that risky behaviour socially as in travel, sports and relationships.

A person who has the 7R receptor, a part of their life will have a component that will be challenging.

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That build up of excitement, when heading off to a country where a different language is spoken, where the culture is entirely different.  All of it, from working out where to go to find a sim card, useable bank, supermarket for food shopping or to source out the best cafe we think has good coffee.

Turkish coffee and a sweet

While others less adventurous will find these challenges hard to contemplate, and the result will send them into a spin of anxiety and the inability to have organised thoughts.  Our lifestyle promotes comments of envy and ones that we are crazy to undertake such a lifestyle.

“Just because we are able to outrun the sun and switch seasons in a single day, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should.”

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Sometimes we have to agree with that statement as we have undertaken yet another long-haul flight back to Europe, which we have the pleasure of sharing our sleeping quarters with hundreds of others and all that entails.

Which at times threatens to unravel my sanity.

  • OR when the time we were patiently waiting to board a train then realising we had the wrong station, total panic set in.
  • OR when our luck nearly ran out when the Squire had his credit card skimmed, which we did not find out that this had occurred until 4 months later.  Lucky for us and not so fortunate for the offender, the bank refused the withdrawal.

Those moments have had us for a second questioning why we do what we do.

Then there are the uber-7R’s that explore even further afield with more risk and money.  A classic example of one such person would be James Cameron who spent time and money travelling to the deepest point in the ocean.  As usual, someone questioned his motive to do such a risky and expensive exploration.

His answer was:

“I had to go, because otherwise how would I have known what’s out there?.”

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Think that you may have this particular gene, one person’s [writer] interpretation is:

“If you want to know if you’re a DRD4-7R carrier but lack access to the necessary scientific hardware, try riding down an Alp on wooden wheels with brake blocks made from wine corks.”

Have fun working out if you have that gene!

More reading links:

A genetic basis to a globetrotting fanatic

http://www.ehbonline.org

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com

Wired to Travel 2

 

27 thoughts on “Wired to Travel”

  1. I have a potentially stupid question and I don’t know if you know the answer. I did a DNA test which I also took the results and uploaded into this gene thing that tells me things like what color eyes I have (they got it right) as well if my parents lineage ever met at some point in history (it didn’t thank God). Anyway, do you think these reports would have the info on if I carry this gene?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. There was a program a while back in NZ where they got celebrities to head overseas in search of where their history via DNA tests lead them. It was interesting, to see how much of one culture they had more than another. A few had surprising results. I am sure I have more than enough of the fiery Scots and Irish blood in me 🙂 Redhead and all 🙂

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  2. Really enjoyed this post!

    I think you either have the gene or don’t – I certainly have it and then some. I know you’re surprised…

    I have a sister that hates flights, rarely travels, only dragged her to Italy last year (1st trip ever to Europe) through constant nagging, and much prefers to stay home and go to work. We could be adopted as we’re poles apart. Still, it makes for an interesting family. 🙂

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  3. Interesting, I guess we must both have a fair share of the gene. Both have that travel bug but more than just places we want to meet new people and experience life in different places.

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  4. I don’t have that gene. I’m far more interested in exploring books and the ideas they generate in my head. Having said that, I did live for nine months in France and six months in Germany, so there is some curiosity about other places.

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  5. I have that gene, Suzanne but alas I don’t follow through enough. Of course, there are always excuses such as responsibilites for family etc but there is always that inner voice telling me to go and explore. At the moment, I take what I can get and of course some travel is short and only gives a glimpse of what is on offer. However, if my choice is to glimpse or not go at all, then I know which I would choose. Enjoy your travelling! I’m enjoying your travels with you. x

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  6. I find this fascinating too.

    I have always been really keen to experience other cultures and explore the world, while none of my brothers or sisters seem to have the same bug. At least…I thought that was the case until my sister moved to France, learnt French and set up her own business. She had it in her after all! 😉

    I expect this kind of thing to dun in families (like the lovely BUYB bloggers Debbie and her daughter Melanie…) but sometimes family can find it hard to understand why we’re so keen to see what’s over the next mountain…

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    1. I find the subject fascinating too Josy. Does it run in families, I think it does. As in my family a few were certainly travellers. Though now they have families and different priorities.
      Wow, your sister took a risk and did well doing so. Good on her. I hope that we keep taking risks, as we age they do need to be more calculated ones and more subdued than when we were 20 🙂 Each to their own, and we live our life how we want to, not on the expectations of what people think we should be doing. It is also very hard to leave family and friends behind.

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  7. My husband and I were discussing the concept of continuous travel the other night and were wondering if we could do it (I follow a few blogs, like yours, that describe that lifestyle – housesitting, Airbnbs, home exchanges, conventional, but ongoing travel, etc.). We decided that, while we admire people who can do it, we aren’t those people. We love to travel, but we also crave our home nest. It’s fun to follow the adventures of the 7Rs though!

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    1. I can appreciate what you are saying, as we were the same way, doing overseas trips on a part time basis. Then came the opportunity to fully embrace the housesitting lifestyle. We could not do fulltime travel without having timeout with housesitting. So, in a sense we are “home” relaxing until the next adventure 🙂 I can tell you one thing Janis, I am looking forward to the time when we purchase our next “forever home”, and there will be a time when that will happen. When? Time will tell. In the meantime, we will keep doing what we enjoy.

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    1. I just find it all fascinating what drives us all to do what we do. I wonder if you did push your boundaries a little bit more would you crave just as much predictability and safety? There is that part in all of us, I think some just keep pushing those boundaries until that other desire to have life predictable and safe takes over.

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  8. I agree these is some difference in our make up, travelers and adventurers vs. homebodies. I certainly must have the explorer gene, while my husband must be prodded to come along. Usually I do all the planning, although he does jump in when he’s needed. Great musings. 🙂

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    1. The Squire acquired the travel bug when we got together. Though is a risk taker in other aspects of his growing years. What interests me is that some people have that desire to succeed in whatever they do and see failure as a learning experience not as failure in itself. Just another step not as a sign to stop that journey.

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