The Lure of Travel and Wanderlust



It’s 7am and the engine noise starts.  Some here on Balboa Island are making calls to complain about the noise.  Me…I’m wondering where they’re going!  I’m talking about the airplanes from nearby John Wayne Airport that start taking off over my apartment at 7am every morning.   Whether I’m on my morning walk or just getting off the water from rowing practice the noise doesn’t bother me.  Okay, sometimes in the evening, when I’m trying to watch TV and have to pause the show I’m watching because it’s so loud, it bothers me….but when I’m driving on the 73 freeway with the top down on my way to work they literally go right over my head on takeoff…it’s so cool!  As I merge onto the 55 freeway there are planes on their approach to land and I wonder what’s happening with the people in that plane…are they coming home or just starting their adventure in SoCal?

When I was trying to “get a life,” before I started back to work and found rowing, I thought it would be fun to volunteer at the local airport as a greeter, just to help people with their travels and to be part of the excitement that happens at an airport. I had the romantic notion that I would hear about people’s travels, where they were going, where they’ve been.  I’m one of those people who really do like to see all your travel pictures and hear your stories of far off lands and adventures.  I don’t even mind the long lines at customs that much…it’s part of the adventure!  Ultimately being a greeter was kind of depressing because the only time I really helped people was when they missed their flight or their flight was cancelled, at which point I could help them find another airline.  That gig lasted 6 months.

busy airport

This past December, in keeping with holiday season, I watched the movie “Love Actually.” Great movie, but I especially love the opening scene of the arrival gate at Heathrow where everyone is excited, hugging & kissing, and you hear Hugh Grant’s voice say “love actually is all around.”  It’s so sweet and the perfect segue into the movie, but it also makes me want to travel somewhere and feel that excitement!  Why do I have such wanderlust?  Well, it may be genetic!  My parents loved to travel together…and with the five of us…and recently psychologists have identified a wanderlust gene.  Who knew!!  It is known as DRD4-7r (a mutation of the DRD4 gene) and is associated with dopamine levels in the brain.  So, scientifically I’m predisposed to love traveling and discovering new places!  I can’t help it!  Are you a wanderluster?….take this test and find out!  (I answered “yes” to every question…except #4!)

Can’t wait for my next travel adventure, which will be take me to Dewey Beach, DE for my son and future daughter-in-law’s wedding!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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