“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?.”
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!
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