Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA, So Born to Travel & Nomad?

May 31, 2022

Is Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 cross county
Have you always loved to travel? Did you know there is a gene nicknamed the "wanderlust" gene that is in about 20% of the population and very common in travel lovers? Here are some photos of me at 21 on my first 6 months trip across USA in a Fiat and a tent, slowly traveling and exploring from Boston, to Florida Keys and zigging and zagging via a bit of Mexico,  to California then from San Diego to San Francisco. I think I definitely have that gene, my daughter Heavenly Reyna has it and my dad, grandparents and even great grandparents had it as extensive traveling & moving/relocating is the main theme of our lives. And we love it!

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? traveling childhood
Here is a photo of me with my mom on a road trip and family camping trip out-of-state (from home movies) when I was five years old in the fifties. I remember our station wagon, lots of long trips, like several times every winter, my dad would take us out of school in Michigan, for a camping trip to Florida driving straight through the night, plus lots of summer travel. I remember reading fun Burma Shave signs together as we roamed. My dad had a BMW motorcycle & we always had canoes and motorboat for water skiing. He also taught us all how to camp and how to snow ski ( starting without any tows!!). 

My grandparent were airstream owners and travelers in the late 1940's and 1950's. I remember as a kid looking at all the Navajo and Indian blankets and art they collected on their airstream travels and the joy and excitement it brought them. My 6'2" gentlemanly great grandfather that I adored (and was his favorite), was Canadian and a renowned world traveler his entire life ( sometimes due to wars he volunteered for). The last I saw him, when I was about ten he was 97 and came to visit us by train looking dashing as ever and we cried in the home movies as we waved goodbye at the train station when he left. I moved a LOT when growing up and I thrived on that and all the travel, as I think my daughter Heavenly has.

It’s a strange quirk of the wanderlust gene that the vast majority of carriers tend to lean to the left politically, as it creates openness to new ideas, which is a trademark of political liberalism.So perhaps that is why I have gone to protests with my mom, aunts, husband and daughter! 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 grand canyon

As we are about to start a new decade of world travel, it was fun to discover these old travel photos here in Barcelona. I think the first photo might be the Florida Keys where i spent more than a month or two as we started in winter.  And I am happy to see me in my youth discovering the Grand Canyon for the first time and I remember the great impression it made. 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 beach beauty

I've always loved the beach, swimming and water, but I am not sure where this beach is. Perhaps it is the same one in Santa Monica that I have spent so much time with my family the last few years and interestingly I have photos of Heavenly that are similar enjoying the beach. 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 big bend state park

Hard to believe these photos were taken in the early 1970's, over 52 years ago! In some ways it seems like yesterday and in other ways it does feel long ago, and it is interesting how our history and travel always remains a part of us. I think this may be in Big Bend National Park as we loved it and  spent a lot of time there and made some friends in Mexico with horses and discovered some natural springs together and they invited us to their homes and I remember the poverty, dirt floors as well as the kindness. Meeting people is always one of the great joys of travel. 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 cross country road trip
When I look at myself at the same age as my daughter is now, I find it a bit surreal and wish I could imprint in her young years all the things I learned along the way. I am not sure where this was taken, but looks like a great viewing point and I do remember that trendy 70's jean skirt that I made out of an old pair of jeans and wore it to death. 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 USA road trip
I still love nature and exploring new places every day, and I do it daily now in Barcelona every morning, although I do not know where this was taken. I think it might be the Colorado river. Look at that tan! 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 route 66
Just as we as a family took the iconic Mother Road Route 66, with our daughter, some of my first young adult trip was on this road too. We couldn't take a road trip across the Southwest USA without  this famous "Main Street of America" road for homeschool purposes, learning first hand.

The United States Congress passed a law in 1990 that recognized Route 66 had “become a symbol of the American people's heritage of travel and their legacy of seeking a better life." Once America's most famous road ( with a song and TV show named for it), Will Rogers Highway holds a special place in American consciousness and slices across the continent allowing for a trip through time like no other. It fascinates me now that not only has my daughter traveled this road in the 2000's with us, but so did I in my youth in the seventies, and even my grandparents did via airstream camping long term in the fifties! And we lived for a few years nearby where it ends at the ocean in Santa Monica. 

Is the Wanderlust Gene in Your DNA  So Born to Travel & Nomad? soultravelers3 europe travel international living

Not long after this 6 month cross country trip, I took my first international trip to Europe, then soon became a flight attendant with TWA ( out of the blue because my best friend was doing this) so did lots more extensive world travel including Rio in Brazil,  moved to NYC from San Francisco and then moved to Italy to model in Europe with Ford Models( which was the biggest modeling agency in the world at that time) which had me jet setting around Europe and weekending in St Tropez on my boyfriends yacht. I have continued extensive travel and nomad living my entire life, including of course our wonderful decade as a family. I have lived as an expat in Spain, Asia, Italy, Austria too. I really am happiest traveling I think as foreign places energize me ( best explained by one of my fave travel quotes). 

“But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” Bryson 

I think I definitely have this DRD4-7R travel  gene, how about you?

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