Travel Changes Everything, Genetically Speaking

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." Mark Twain said that over 100 years ago. Science is now proving what Mr Twain and many of us have known since our first trip. Travel is mind expanding.

Neroscience in amazing. With the advent of brain imaging technology scientists are discovering just what is going on in our brains. Connecting that with how our genome works, we are learning more and more about what is possible for humans. The way I was taught genetics (in HS) was that you receive 23 genes from your mother and 23 from your father. There could be some mixups and aberrations at that moment (extra gene = downs syndrome) but that moments would define what person developed and nothing would change again until you died. Is this what you learned?

Well we are wrong. In their book Super Genes, authors Dr. Rudolph Tanzi and Dr. Deepak Chopra say, "You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with. You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story.” They are now discovering what scientists are calling the epigenomes. The National Scientific Counsel on the Developing Child in their Working Paper 10 likened it to a computer where the hardware (hard drive, motherboard, circuits, resistors, etc.) is the physical double helixes made up of nucleotides and the epigenomes are like software that operates the hardware. The epigenomes turn on and off different genes like software turning on and off different circuits. And these epigenomes are CHANGEABLE! This is so awesome and so scary all at once right. So if you are reading this article I have to tell you that the most changes happen during pre and postnatal periods. So as an infant your mom snuggling you was turning on genes that would help you deal with stress and remain healthier through your life. If you have a baby, then you have the heavy responsibility to give them a life advantage by providing a learning environment. These infants are highly influenced by new tastes, sounds and experiences.

But if you don't have an infant why should you care? Because your brain remains changeable your whole life. So whether the hyper malible stage for you or your kids is over your choices still affect a lot. It is crazy hard to change as an adult but it is scientifically provable that is can happen and it can be permanent. You can still turn on and off some of your genetic code by changing your environment. Does this affect your choices about eating healthy foods every day? or working out? or travel? It should because your brain will improve. You will literally open your mind and activate new parts of you genetic code when you travel.

For the pre-breeders, one last thing to consider when looking at your life choices is your epigenome will affect your hereditary genetics for generations to come. "What you do today could affect the health and behavior of your grandchildren just as what your grandparents did affects your health today." According to Deane Alban on Your choices will be passed down to your genetic offspring that you have not even had yet. So if you are 22 and someone asks you why you are traveling so much, say you are doing it for the kids. They will look at you funny but you can site science as your reason for travel and that should be enough.

Get out there and change your epigenome and brain functions. It is for you and the kids.

Medical photo created by kjpargeter -