Why is travel addictive?

Travel Perspectives — By on July 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Ask any traveler that question and you’ll get an interesting litany of answers. Or perhaps no good answer at all, other than the recognition that, well, yes, travel really is addictive. But I just came across an interesting essay by Leigh Haugseth on her blog, Fresh New Life, in which she comes up with some pretty good answers to that question. Here is an excerpt:

We get a chemical high. When you take a risk, your brain produces the feel good chemical dopamine which gives you a short high.  The more risks you take, the more highs you experience.  Studies have shown that dare devils, such as those that climb outrageously high mountains or do extreme sports, have lower levels of dopamine inhibitors. This means when they take a risk, they get an even higher shot of dopamine than the rest of us, producing a more addictive high.

We feel like we’re actually doing something productive with our lives. Being on the road can get tedious at times, but overall, it’s constant newness and wonder. Something we don’t experience in our daily humdrum lives.  We’re constantly learning and experiencing life.  Being on the road and interacting with different people is more productive than sitting in the same meetings, with the same people, in the same office every day. 

It makes us feel adventurous.  When we set off on a new adventure, no matter how afraid we may be, feelings of boldness and bravery take over and we  feel ready to take on the world.   Anything can happen that day, anything is possible.  This is what we dream about when we’re whiling away in our cubicle.  These feelings are real and very addictive.

These are just three of the seven interesting answers that she produced. Check out her entire post, and then start dreaming again about hitting the road.

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1 Comment

  1. Dave and Deb says:

    I knew that there had to be some scientific explanations:) The more I travel the more I want to travel. I am completely addicted, now I can at least state these facts for my reasons for taking off all of the time. Thanks

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