35,000 miles to find the secrets of lasting love
A British honeymoon couple drive a motorbike and sidecar from Alaska to Argentina talking to couples and renowned experts along the way in search of the secret of lasting love.
And made a film about what they learnt along the way.
Have you ever wondered, when half of all marriages end in divorce, what makes a marriage last?
Going the Distance is the story of a pair of British newlyweds who,
asking themselves that same question, decided to put their relationship through
a gruelling test in order to find the secret of everlasting love, and in the
process, learnt a hell of lot more. Part travelogue, part cross-cultural
story-finding, and part scientific experiment, the film tells the story of one
couple’s own love, insane honeymoon, and quest for a lasting marriage.
Mike and Alanna Clear drove a motorbike and sidecar from Alaska to Argentina and interviewed 120 couples along the way about how to stay together for life. They got a slice of life from everywhere they drove through. From Fundamentalist Mormons in Salt Lake City with many wives; to a Colombian FARC kidnap victim recently returned home, rebuilding his 25 year marriage after 7 years held captive in the jungle; from swingers and porn stars in LA to a serious burns victim rebuilding his marriage after tragedy.
Advice from the hundreds of people along the way came in many forms: the mundane “never go to sleep on an argument”; the universals of “trust, compromise and respect”; the distinctly Alaskan “never share a two-man canoe”; kindness - “love is putting the other person first”; willingness to change - “love evolves over time, you have to evolve with it”; “a baby is going to change everything” (that’s one they now agree with! They have just had their second child…)
The 35,000 mile journey wasn’t their only test to their relationship, they decided to scrutinise it under a scientific microscope too, using DNA compatibility tests, brainscans and psychological tests to find any cracks – with the answers to the tests not to be opened until the end of their journey.
Along their route, they consulted many of the world’s greatest relationship for their advice. They met best-selling advice expert, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus author, Dr John Gray; they talked to author of over 40 books, Dr John Gottman; marriage economist and adviser to Obama, Dr Betsey Stevenson; renowned biological anthropologist, Dr Helen Fisher; marriage historian, Dr Stephanie Coontz; creator of Collaborative Couples Therapy technique, Dr Dan Wile, with much thought from author of The Good Marriage, Judith Wallerstein, and expert Dr Pamela Regan.
They managed to film themselves and their interviews, and have made a feature-length documentary about the trip and what they learnt along the way. The couple discovered that by asking about love, they got love back. And that perhaps they didn’t need to travel so far to find out something that was much closer to home.
This is a perfect film for couples on Valentine’s Day: all the adventure of a roadtrip, with all the wisdom of real, fascinating people along the way. Every couple can learn, laugh and cry with the universal truths that we all battle with along the way. Marriage is a long road, sometimes it’s worth stopping and asking for directions.
Going the Distance: a Honeymoon Adventure is now available to watch on iTunes.