I might say that the companion image isn't exactly helping what comes to culling racial stereotypes. I mean, look at that savage! He doesn't even know how to wield a white man's weapon properly, but still holds it like a club. Even when he's got a proper example standing right next to him.
It's a curious thing. The article actually visits the main reason, but still kinda misses the point.
In my mind, our need for exploration could be summed up as need for more living space. We've never simply gone anywhere to see what's in there. No, we've always had the motivation to also see whether we could stay
And it has not only been used as motivation for exploration, but for war as well. I think word lebensraum
sums up nicely the most sinister historical example.
Back to the original point, Tupaia's people very likely took to the sea because the island they came from became to small for them. It's also the reason why I often surprise myself glancing upwards on a clear, cloudless night. It'll very likely be nothing but a pipe dream in my lifetime, but I do hope that we'll get there eventually. If we don't, the fate of our species might just be to remain here and die - do we really have an explorer gene or not.