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To travel is divine but do backpackers get travel insurance? An interesting take on travel with many questions and answers too!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

We will all unanimously agree with Twain on this quote but how many of us have the willingness and the means to do so? Or is it really the means that is stopping us? We have seen countless who have the means but never take the leap! We know of many destinations that are within reach for most of us if we can plan ahead and save some money.

So what drives certain people to travel, explore, learn, share and be a bit more adventurous? Does Nationality have anything to do with it? Do some countries have a travel culture? Maybe individuals have a travel gene that is yet to be discovered!

Do the Brits, the Aussies or the Germans travel most?

Which are the most visited travel destinations in the world? Do you know the name of the worst airport in the world?

There are several questions aren’t there? This quirky blog will attempt to throw some light on questions like the above with a series of answers and research to back it up. Ask away and we will try to provide you with an answer to he best of our abilities.

The wanderlust gene

There is now growing evidence that the behavioral traits which predispose some of us to risky and novelty-seeking behavior have a genetic basis. A recent book, American Mania, by Peter Whybrow, director of UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, summarizes this evidence. He begins by noting that human migration is one major form of risky and novelty-seeking behavior. Only a few of our species left their ancestral home in the African savannahs and began that long walk to the ends of the earth which allowed homo sapiens to colonize the world. Who were these earliest migrants? It turns out they had a particular genetic profile. They had a higher percentage of an exploratory and novelty-seeking gene than those remaining behind.

The gene is called D4. And certain cultures display a higher percentage of the gene, which can be traced back to the earliest population migrations in Africa approximately ten to 20 thousand years ago. Apparently, the Chinese who migrated from Taiwan to South East Asia, for example, have a “greater percentage of D4-7 allele in the population than the aboriginal population of Taiwan who stayed behind”. The same goes for the South Americans, particularly the Colombians. The theory is that those groups had to migrate (I.e., walk), the furthest when crossing from Asia to the Americas during the Ice Age, which would explain why the ‘travel gene’ is prevalent among South Americans today. Not surprisingly, (when you consider their history of isolationism), the travel gene is almost non-existent among the Japanese.

And apparently the travel gene is not strictly reserved for homo sapiens. It’s also found in fish as well, specifically in the Stickleback fish; a small, bony, fresh-water fish that never  ikes to stay in one spot for long.

– by DanJay – Who’s now sure that he has the wanderlust and foodie genes!