Are We Born To Travel?

Are We Born To Travel?

As we move further down the road to adoption it’s made us question a lot of things. We guess that’s common after all there are no nine months of preparation. Once we’re approved as adopters we could be matched at any time (eek!) When someone has a baby naturally the ‘oh doesn’t he look like his dad’ and ‘oh hasn’t he got his mum’s temper’ observations are thrown around like confetti.

But when you adopt a child, you literally have no idea what they will look like (the only certainty is it won’t be you) or what their character will be like in advance. That’s nerve-wracking and exciting in equal measure. She could be an angel, she might not be, (but we cannot wait to find out). The idea with adoption is that you let the child know as much about their life before their life with you as possible. This includes information about their heritage and culture especially if it’s different from our own.

DNA Tests

It got Mr ESLT and me to think about our own childhoods and more so our genes. Who are we really? Where do we come from? What makes us, us? Yes, Vicky looks like her dad (with her mum’s nose) and if Chris put a wig on, you’d think it was a younger taller version of his mum. But looks aren’t everything (no matter what the media may have us believe). It got us talking about companies such as CRI Genetics who offer DNA testing to find out (90% accurate) where in the world your DNA comes from. We’ve never done one of these tests but are now very eager too. Not only do we want to know more about our DNA makeup but also what our genes say about who we are and whether they dictate (or at least influence) what we like to do (and what we don’t).

Wanderlust Gene

It then raised the question of whether or not wanderlust is an actual thing. Can be found in our genes? Some people love to travel and take every opportunity to do so. Some people hate it and don’t like to leave the house unless they have to. Maybe some people are just born to travel and others aren’t? Well after a lot of research we came across some interesting information about DRD4-7R, which has been nicknamed the ‘wanderlust gene‘ and relates to dopamine levels in your brain. It’s believed that the people who have it are bigger risk takers. Therefore love the buzz travel gives them. In reality, having the gene is not that common. In fact, it’s believed only 20% of the world’s population has it. Mr ESLT and I are of course both adamant that we have it and aim to take a test as soon as possible.

Nature v Nurture

There is also a lot of research to suggest that genes have nothing to do with people’s desire to travel. This then raised the question of nature v nurture. The likelihood is our little one will have had a terrible start in life and one that we would not wish on anyone. Therefore, if she isn’t born with the ‘wanderlust gene’ is the love of travel something we can influence in her through our own love of it? We obviously don’t want to make our child do something that she really doesn’t enjoy (how cruel is that?) but we do want her to see the world and learn about other cultures (her own if different from ours as mentioned before), see different architecture and of course eat cuisine from around the world. Therefore, we hope our wanderlust (whether it is from the gene or not) rubs off on her.

What Do You Think?

The likelihood is that you love to travel if you are reading this post. Do you think your love or ‘wanderlust’ is because of you genes? Have you ever taken a DNA test? Where you surprised by the findings? Do you have the DRD4-7R gene? Or are you more on the side of nature v nurture? Do you believe that by being encouraged to do something (in the case travel) as a child, it has given you the taste which has now turned into an insatiable appetite? Let us know!

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