WANDERLUST, by Patricia Lopez Lopez


Recently I have read about a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, associated with the dopamine levels in the brain. The gene itself has been given the nickname of wanderlust gene because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness. Even though the gene is not very common (only possessed by about 20% of the population), those ones who have it are more likely to take risks, explore new places and ideas. So, the question I contemplate is, why do we love to travel?
In my opinion, the main answer is that when we put some miles between home and our destination we are looking for some new memories, trying/aiming/wanting to learn new things, just like new adventures, to fulfil our dreams or simply doing it because work is stressful and we need to escape from the place where we spend most of our time and it doesn't matter even where we are going.
I reckon that travel is a basic human desire and mankind has been crossing continents for 2 million years so, inevitably, we are migratory species. The experience of another culture endows us with a valuable open-mindedness and we need to exchange our customs to experience the diversity of human traditions. Cultural contrasts (food, religion, festivities) mean that there are different ways of interpreting the world, and all of them are equally valid.