What is the “Wanderlust”? Do you have that “Discovery” gene? (1/2)

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Everybody knows them:  people who don’t mind staying at home, in their city where they come from and in their same surroundings. Nevertheless, they seem to be content with their daily-routine, the same people and activities.

Then there is the rest of us: people who can’t sit still for a while, taken by a strong desire to travel and explore the world – the Wanderlust.

The term is characterized by German Romanticism and it comes from the German words “Wander” (to hike, wander) and “Lust” (desire). Basically, a constant inner drive, itchy feet to discover nature and the world far away from home.

Since travelling I always had the theory that there are people who are ”born” to travel. And the adventurous spirit could be genetic?

I was curious and found out an interesting fact during my research: it’s true, a kind of “Discovery” gene really exists, known as DRD4-7R. According to National Geographic, around 20 percent of people all over the world have it. Furthermore, studies have concluded that those who have this gene are more likely to take risks. They are not only more open-minded in particular towards new places, but also towards ideas, food, relationships, drugs and sexual opportunities.

Let’s just stay with travels. 😛

Do you feel that urge to discover the world? Then maybe you have the, I call it “Wanderlust” gene, in you !

Here are 20 signs:

1. Your bucket list grows and grows.

Suddenly you realize that it becomes more and more unrealistic travelling to all the desired destinations, not even if one has 2 lifetimes! But you still keep adding new must visit places.

“I want to discover South-America and Asia. But also the whole of Africa seems to be very interesting!” When you look at the map, you notice how small Europe is compared to those giant continents, even though you haven’t finished travelling in Europe! And there is also New Zealand, Australia, and numerous wonderful little islands etc. – so many beautiful places you want to go! “The world is so big and I am so small.”

Imagine, if we were able to be in several places at the same time. Wouldn’t it be great?

2. You have a world map, scratch map at home.

And it is full of colourful pins, scratched or unscratched that indicates your visited and must see places!


3. Your savings go on travelling.

As you only save your hard earned bucks for your adventures, you don’t mind having crappy furniture in your apartment.

Money, you consider as a piece of freedom that allows you a financial independence while travelling.

Bank notes don’t bring you happiness, but when invested in an airplane ticket, it does. So you’d rather like to spend all your savings for your next journey, even if you know that you will be broke after a period or when you come back home. But for the moment, you don’t care. You just want to get out of here!

4. Commercial, all-inclusive travel is not your thing.

Equipped with a spirit of discovery and adventure, you want to experience the country and its people in their fullest authenticity.

In fact, you don’t feel yourself like a “tourist” falling into tourist traps, experiencing only the beautiful sides, rushing through place to place, paying too much for food (not even authentic), taking plenty of selfies for social media etc. No, this is not your thing “anymore”, as you noticed that there is much more behind that “superficial” or “artificial” world, made for “tourists”.

A wanderluster feels like an adventurer or a poacher and also sometimes as a nomad or survival king. Basically, as someone who wants to discover the “real” culture and to make honest, not economic based, friendships with locals and travellers.


5. Travellers’ stories not only inspire you, but also make you jealous.

Either a friend comes back from his travels and impresses you with his pictures and stories. Or you meet a traveller, an exchange student, a neighbour who tells you about his beautiful exotic home country.

While listening or reading (blog, internet, book etc.) about travels you automatically go on an enjoyable mental journey. Interested in little details, you keep asking questions. You love travel stories as they inspire you, but you also “hate” them because it wasn’t you who lived it! So, they make your “Lust” to go on adventure even bigger!

6. You have no real sense of “home”.

The state of “Wandering” from place to place feels comfortable – you are not homesick. You feel most at home, when you’re far from your comfort zone – facing adventures, experiencing new places, cultures and making new friends.

In fact, exciting places and nice people are all you need. Therefore you feel at home while sleeping in the wild, in the desert, living with Berber in caves, Couchsurfing at strangers’ houses, moving from Hostel to Hostel…


7. You know a bunch of “useful” phrases in multiple languages.

You love speaking and practising foreign languages. By saying a simple “Thank you” or “Hello” in locals mother tongue, you definitely have won sympathy points . Anytime and everywhere you find opportunities to improve your speaking skills!

[IT] Ogni lasciate è persa. Voglio sc***** sul tavolo, Hai degli occhi bellissimi, Sono un Pan di Stelle. Tutto scorre. Sei mia farfallina…

[SPA] Te echo de menos. Tengo hambre. No tengo dinero. Quien no apoya no fo**  Y quien no recorre no se co**, Me gusta la marijuana, me gustas tu…

[GER] Ein Bier bitte ! Hallo !

[FR] Veux-tu faire un gros calin avec moi ? La bouf, c’est la vie. Je suis un fromage.

[VN] xin chào ! phở!

[KOR] 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) 오 정말 아름답다  (O CHONGMA AROM DOBTA) 이름이 뭐에요 (Idimiboya)

[ZH] 你是我的花朵 (nishuwodehwadro)

[JP] 酔っぱらい (Yopparai) 乾杯 (Kanpai) お元気ですか (Ogenkidesuka)

[PRT] bacalhau, obrigado, pastel de nata por favour

[Arab] Khouya hek lili nifi ,Halib, Khouya khoud bananaaa, merhaba


8. Eating “normal” or “normal” food is boring for you.

Dipping Maroilles (a french cheese) in your café at the Ch’tis (North of France), wheat beer and white sausage for breakfast in Baveria, eating couscous and tajin with your hands, trying out exotic crispy insects, stink fruit (Durian), dragon fruit, steamboats in Asia… – every eating culture of each region is an excitement for you!

DSC_1851FOOD 2

9. Most of your stories start with “When I was in…”.

A Wanderluster loves enthusiastically telling his travel tales and anecdotes. You talk in vivid pictures, so your listener feels as if they are going to that place on a mental journey. To put yourself again in that moment with associated feelings, you start your stories with “When I was in…” .

While talking passionately about the visited places, you remember little details – your travel stories seem not to end.

Automatically, you gravitate to people who have been to the same countries because they share the same travel interests and topics. The more you travel, the more you become a storyteller!

10. You love both: to plan a trip in advance or to take a spontaneous adventure.

It may happen that you already “google” everything imaginable about your destinations, months ago before your trip starts. But sometimes you just feel that inner calling, you pack your things in 10 minutes and let yourself be guided by your itchy feet, the Wanderlust.




Thanks for reading part 1. Click here for Part 2.

Keep rolling and see you soon.

Yours Viet 🙂

Do you have any questions? Do you share the same or other experiences while travelling alone? Let me know what you’re thinking right now. I am really happy if you leave me a comment below. Thank you very much. 🙂

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