Posts Tagged Marriage

Brian and Shirley

My name’s Brian, and this is my wife, Shirley.

There’s something about it. I dunno, we surround ourselves with all the goods and trappings of life, and when you power your life down to living out of those little boxes on the side of the motor bike, and each other, that’s what life’s all about. You really find out about yourself and how you can cope.

I’ve been a motorcyclist all my life. I love that experience where all in one day, you can go from the hills in Peru, feeling the bite-ness in the air where its zero degrees at five kilometers high, and then you come down beautiful twisty roads to the Pacific Ocean, and it’s 30-plus degrees celsius.

And it’s great to be able to share that with your partner. Shirley does an amazing job sitting on the back of the bike, day in day out.

I’m Brian’s wife. I have no desire to ride myself, but, I’m a pillion in a million. Sat on the back of that motorcycle for 60-plus thousand kilometers on this trip. The motorcycle is our home, our transport, it carries our worldly possessions, and it carries trinkets from home, things that are important to us. We’re like little turtles.

Some days can be tough and hard whether it’s raining and cold…or dry and hot! People always say, “Oh, when it’s hot, that must be really good on the bike.” I heard someone use this analogy – “Stand in your bathroom, get your hair dryer out, turn it on your face and leave it there for about three hours. See how you like riding in the heat.”

But the motorcycle is a conduit to making really good friends. There’s a camaraderie about motorcycling, and there’s a fascination with the public that they like to know what we’re doing. When you ride into a gas station, people come up to you: “Oh, nice bike. Where have you been? Where are you going? Where have you come from? Oh, you’re Australian.” You don’t find that when you fuel up a car.

And that just develops a bond. It’s a bond that no one cares how old we are, what we’ve done in the past, what we’re gonna do in the future. It’s just the bond of travel and the bond of exploring new things.

The bike just breaks down all the barriers.

In 2011, after retiring from 36 years with the Victorian police, serving in the drug and homicide squads, Brian and Shirley packed up this bike and embarked on an 18 month journey. Starting in Santiago Chile, the southern most point in South America, they traveled to Deadhorse Alaska, the northernmost point in North America accessible by road. From there they continued to Europe and South Africa before making it back home to Australia. There’s more of their story here:


“Hi, my name is Doug and I want to talk about something and someone that changed my life.

My wife and I met in ninth grade. I was a troubled kid. It was back in the late ‘60’s and at the time I was hanging around with a bad crowd. I was 14 years old, selling drugs and the outlook for us at that time was pretty poor.

My girlfriend’s mother, who turned out to be my mother-in-law, and has since passed away, took me under her wing and showed me a different way of approaching life. We hear how people around you can influence the way and direction of your life. She did that. She just always took the time. It changed the way that I thought about myself and turned things into a positive light.

For me, this needlepoint captures the essence of basically who she was and the quality of time that she put into things.

In retrospect I see where my life has gone, taking me from someone who basically would have been a real loser in life to someone who can say, I’m proud of myself. I have accomplished a lot of things. I’m still married to her daughter and her father is still with us. We have a nice family.

All of this, pretty much, because of my mother-in-law who did this needlepoint.”


“Hi, I’m Kevin

This is the first purchase that myself and my wife made as a couple.

When we got married we loaded up the Subaru with camping equipment and had a ride through the American Southwest. About a week into the trip we came across this skull at one of these traditional Southwestern outdoor markets in Santa Fe, NM. Mexico is written on the back of it so it was probably killed in Mexico and brought across the boarder illegally, but, you know–who knows? I wish I could say that I killed it myself, but I didn’t.

The other option was to buy a necklace for my wife.

I really like this, honey, I’m going to get this dead cow head instead of a necklace. Yeah, the dead cow head-Yeah, definitely!”


“My name is Erin.

I know it seems obvious and lame but I brought my laptop. I met my husband on-line at and started a career that I never thought was possible for myself.

At the time, I think it was 9 years ago, I was socially awkward and a coworker suggested I try on line dating. I was like: Are you insane? So she put up a profile for me. My mother said they’d find me chopped up in the trunk of a Camaro.

I got 600 emails the first couple of days but they were all gross and then I noticed where you could specify your search parameters and Andrews profile came up. I said to my girlfriend- why doesn’t a guy like that write me?

I went to bed- didn’t contact him. The next morning he had e-mailed me. It was really creepy.

I didn’t actually have narrow search parameters. He had to be really tall, graduated college, never married. What’s funny is that on our first date, the one and only date I had from, the first thing Andrew said when we sat down was: Okay- I have to tell you something. I was like great-What? He says: I’m Divorced… I’m Thinking great, what else?…and I didn’t graduate college. And he says if you want to leave, totally fine but I just wanted to tell you and get that out the way. He explained that he was married for only ninety days, big mistake and had dropped out of college to run a business but was now back in college and finishing his degree.”

Fast forward to 2010-Erin and Andrew have been married now for five years. Andrew earned not only his under graduate degree but also a masters. Erin’s interior design business continues to thrive and her blog has taken off with almost 200,000 hits per month.