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Can you be addicted to traveling?

It's like the feeling after you get your first tattoo. You want more tattoos!

Traveling is the same. You might get tired after you are back from the trip but, trust me, not for long. You will be thirsty to get yourself outside again. You want to see more skyline, bigger lakes, taller mountains, and making more friends. TRAVELING is addicting!

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
— Henry David Thoreau

However, Dr. Daniel Epstein, a specialist in addiction from Florida said in the interview with that;


According to the American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization, addicting must meet three of these criteria;

Travel might be more along the line of obsessive, but there is no evidence that it’s a legitimate addiction because it has no neurological element of instant gratification,
— Dr. Daniel Epstein
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal
  • Limited Control
  • Negative consequences
  • Neglected or postponed activities
  • Significant time or energy spent
  • Desire to cutdown

In short, Dr. Daniel believes using addiction is too strong word for traveling. Traveling can't harm people live except they travel to avoid facing their real life.

Dopamine could be the factor that make people want to travel.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional response, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.
— Psychology Today

Dopamine is a happy hormone. It get boosted when you received your order from Amazon, when you get flowers from your girlfriend or boyfriend, when you have sex, or even when you travel. These happy moments boost your dopamine and you are happy!

A research from Human Molecular Genetics found that a gene DRD4 is related to dopamine levels in the brain (Lichter et al, 1993). DRD4-7R gene is carried around 20% of human population and liked with restlessness and curiosity (Schilling, Walsh & Yun, 2011). The restlessness makes people want to take risk seeing new places, or we call TRAVEL!

I've been looking on the internet and found many research support that traveling boost dopamine and make people happy. Here we go, why don't we travel more, right!


Lichter, J. B., Barr, C. L., Kennedy, J. L., Van Tol, H. H., Kidd, K. K., & Livak, K. J. (1993). A hypervariable segment in the human dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene. Human Molecular Genetics2(6), 767-773.

Schilling, C. M., Walsh, A., & Yun, I. (2011). ADHD and criminality: A primer on the genetic, neurobiological, evolutionary, and treatment literature for criminologists. Journal of Criminal Justice39(1), 3-11.