While traveling may make some people happy easily, some people are perfectly content never leaving their home country. Although it varies greatly among individuals, some are wanderlusters and like to travel.
Imagine you are slowly stepping away from your office desk and preparing to travel to a new place. Buying tickets, experiencing different cultures and tasting different flavors … Each of these steps seems like enough reason to get you excited and happy. However, some studies suggest that travel gives us happiness because of biological reasons.
The hormone dopamine, which is very important for the body and brain, is a chemical that directly affects the mood of people and releases adrenalin. When it is secreted in excessive amounts, feelings of happiness and pleasure are triggered, while low levels of dopamine reduce motivation in people.
According to research, people who have high levels of dopamine are deemed to have the DRD4 gene, which has been associated with various addictions. Therefore, there is a link between the excess dopamine in the brain and a person’s tendency – or addiction – to participate in dangerous and impulsive actions like traveling.
Justin Garcia, a biologist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, has suggested that high dopamine levels and the DRD4 gene are the reasons why primitive people left their homes and discovered new regions in the hope of seeking food, mates and shelter. Although the survival needs are no longer of use in today’s world, the biological background, that is, high dopamine levels and the DRD4 gene might be the reason why people love traveling in the modern world.
Thus, Garcia states that the DRD4 gene is a significant explanation of why some people deem traveling to be exciting and others as terrifying.
In short, those with the surplus dopamine and this gene are probably more likely to be passionate about travel and embrace change or adventure.