Why Do We Love to Travel: Explained



If you have a ferocious appetite for the need to travel (and it never seems to be enough) and you always need a holiday to recover from your previous holiday, or even plan your next holiday while you are on a holiday, truth be told, you are actually – born this way.

I came across two articles mentioning how our love for travel is actually encoded in our DNA. Some of us carry the “travel genes” and that particular gene (I am not going into the details here but if you like, you can read more about The Wanderlust Gene here) make some people more willing to explore and travel greater distances.

According to the claims, the Travel gene only affects 20% of the population. So what about the rest of the population? Do they prefer to stay at home and never to venture outside of their comfort zone? Well the study mentions that,

 those with a history of relocating, over time


whose ancestors migrated longer distances after they moved out of Africa.

tend to carry the Travel gene much more commonly than those who did not.

Hmm… my great-grandparents migrated from China to Singapore more than 70 years ago. And I moved to Melbourne 5 years ago, does that mean I carry the Travel gene in me? I would certainly love to think so! I get bored staying in the same place for too long you know… .

Why Do We Love to Travel: Explained
Redwood Forest, Victoria

Well if you think that these things shouldn’t be explained from a scientific point of view, there’s another article justifying anyone with the need to travel on a psychological angle. These people are not genetically marked but rather, are addicted emotionally.

Dr Brien describes this level of addiction for the love of travelling is due to a need to satisfy our emotional well-being and according to Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’, he says,

Once you realise that the experience of travel is extremely rewarding and unlike anything else, the more you want to keep doing it. It’s a kaleidoscope of new sights, sounds, and experiences at every turn, and successfully navigating these unfamiliar situations is the best way for a person to achieve the higher-level needs found in Maslow’s pyramid.

Whichever angle you look at it, whether scientifically or psychologically, I think to travel is human. As the saying goes, ‘the world is your oyster’ – I think it is only right that one should grab opportunities and go places especially so when ‘sales fare‘ such as this – lands in your inbox. Yes, you guessed it, I took advantage of JAL sales fare to Tokyo last week.

On the other hand, I also think that a quasi-holiday staycation at a local hotel can be just as satisfying. Pretending to be a tourist, taking in the sights and sounds, observing people going through their daily routines, gives me a chance to step back and reflect on my own experience in my own country through a different lens.


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