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March 11, 2016

Genetics & Fear

Wanderlust.  Is it contagious or genetic? I say it is both. We all know people who love an adventure. They roll with the changes and seek out new experiences. And we also know those who vacation to the same place every year, if at all, and work the same job for 40 years. They never leave their home town and they like vanilla ice cream. (Hey, wait a minute! I LOVE vanilla ice cream. Okay. Bad example.)

A recent study shows that our need for travel can be blamed on our DNA. More specifically gene DRD4-74. DRD4-7R is known to cause people to take risks and explore new places.

I have this gene. Can you have it twice? Do you think you have it?

Justin Garcia, an evolutionary biologist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, says that the extra dopamine in the brain may have helped motivate prehistoric man to venture from home, explore, and seek new territories for mates, food, and shelter.

When transferred into today’s lifestyle, that need to venture out changes into a need to travel and explore.

Adding to his findings, Garcia also reportedly claimed that the DRD4 gene could begin to explain why some people view travelling as exciting – and others deem it terrifying.

Read the full article HERE.

So how do you shake off the fear?

Being the first point of contact for Singles Travel International as the head reservationist for more than four years, I saw this fear firsthand with singles wanting to travel, but afraid to make the leap into our group travel experience. I have had to talk many a wonderful baby boomer-aged single off the ledge and help them make the decision to book their first trip with Singles Travel International. After all, I wasn’t called the Reservation Therapist for nothing.

I also see it all around me.

Many people are afraid to travel. You can smell the fear on them. They cancel at the first blip on the radar that there may be unrest in the world. Somewhere. Somehow. But do any of us really have a safety net below us at home? At work? Here in the United States?

The answer is a resounding NO. This is why the word WANDERLUST has two parts. “Wander” is the latest and greatest term for those who like to get out there and explore this fabulous planet we inhabit for such a very short time. As in, “Not all those who wander are lost.”

Getting lost in the world is the point.

“Lust” is the urge part. The part we sometimes cannot control once we flip the switch inside of us by booking a trip or looking at beautiful destinations online or in travel magazines. Even watching an episode or two of “House Hunters International.”

Lust does indeed equal Love in this instance. The word WANDERLUST is an international treasure that beckons you to wet your lips and click BOOK IT.

But what about the fear? How do you shake it off?

Fear is overrated. It is the easy emotion. The reason we attach to every little thing we are not doing.

And it is time to get over it.

Brendon Burchard, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author offers this:

“Part of the maturity and the mastery of life is realizing that instead of focusing on the outcomes that are negative, we can start thinking and dreaming about, visualizing and giving our attention, our focus and powers of attraction into those things that would be powerful, good, satisfying, fulfilling, happy and joyous on the other side of that fence. The things that would turn out to be wonderful and magnificent if we change our lives.”

Burchard breaks down fear into three different types. Watch his YouTube Video and learn more about overcoming fear HERE

The good news is fear is not genetic. You can overcome your fear of travel or fear of anything on your list.

You just have to WANT IT. Throw your fear list in the trash. Burn it. And then start making your Bucket List. (Or should we say WANDERLIST?) I promise it will empower you.

Like I always say… “Feel the fear, then do it anyway.”  You will be glad you did.

Read our TESTIMONIALS to meet a few of our members who found the way to overcome their fear of group travel. (HINT: They just said BOOK IT and went)

Contributed by

-Robin Zell, CTA

Director of Market Strategy for STI



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