In It For the Long Haul: Motorcycle Travel & Secrets of Lasting Relationships

Image: Mike & Alanna Clear

Image: Mike & Alanna Clear

According to a travel survey, couples who travel together have better relationships than those who don't. In this episode, three couples share their thoughts on what makes their relationship work while on the road. And we also talk to a couple who rode from Alaska to Ushuaia on a quest to find out what was the secret behind couples who remained married or partnered for a long time. They talk about their experiences with the Ural, the people they met and what they learned about relationships.

Image: Sam Manicom with Birgit

Image: Sam Manicom with Birgit

Travel & How it Affects Relationships

In 2012, the U.S. Travel Association conducted a survey to find out if and how much pleasure travel made relationships between romantic partners and couples stronger. According to the survey, they found three key points:

1) Travel has long-term benefits for couples
2) Travel helps build and maintain relationships
3) Travel ignites romance and intimacy
— https://www.ustravel.org

The survey also found that relationships between couples who travel together last longer and that divorce rates were higher for couples who don't travel together. And to find out what keeps couples relationships strong while spending copious amounts of time together while on the road, we asked some experienced motorcycle adventurers for their secrets or tips.


Image: Mike & Alanna Clear

Image: Mike & Alanna Clear

Mike and Alanna Clear: Mike and Alanna were married in 2008, and in 2009 they set off on an 8 month adventure on a Ural to search for the secret of lasting love. With research showing that 50% of marriages end in divorce, they wanted to interview couples between Alaska and Argentina, talk to experts and ultimately make a film about their discoveries. They interviewed people in all types of relationships, including long married couples, Jehovah Witnesses, Inuit couples, pornographic actors, swingers and people in polygamous relationships. They had tests done to see if they were scientifically suited to each other, both before and at the end of their trip. Putting it all together took Mike five years, and the outcome was their film "Going the Distance". The film is available on their website or at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/30269
Website: http://www.goingthedistance.org.uk/


Sam Manicom (Birgit): In 1995, Sam met Birgit while on on his eight year trip around the world, she travelled with him for the last four years of the trip, and they have been together since. They still do trips together, and Sam gives us some tips on how they keep their relationship strong.
Website: http://www.sam-manicom.com/

Image: Sam Manicom with Birgit

Image: Sam Manicom with Birgit


Lisa and Simon Thomas: They've been on the road together for 14 years, and are working on completing the world's longest motorcycle journey by a team. They're not only a team, they ride, live and work together every day and remain happily married. On this episode, Simon and Lisa reveal keys to how they do it.
Website: http://2ridetheworld.com/

Image: Lisa & Simon Thomas

Image: Lisa & Simon Thomas


Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix:  Shirley and Brian are retired professionals, he's a bike fanatic and she loves travel and is happy to be a pillion. They've taken a lot of trips, and have covered a lot of miles together. They share their secrets for a successful and great marriage.
Website: www.aussiesoverland.com.au

Image: Shirley Hardy-Rix & Brian Rix

Image: Shirley Hardy-Rix & Brian Rix


Going The Distance: Mike & Alanna Clear


U.S. Travel Association Survey: https://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/Media%20Root/5.2015_Relationship_ExecSummary.pdf


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Music by Jason Shaw at www.audionautix.com