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How To Motivate Your Significant Other To Travel Overland

Often we meet people as we travel who would love to explore as we do but have one serious problem: their spouse hates camping. If this is your problem then we suggest that you try the following Travel Indoctrination Campaign (TIC) utilising Behaviour Modification Training (BMT). It would be a shame to go through all the expense and effort of building the perfect overland vehicle and planning the most amazing overland route and STILL not be able to get your significant other out of the house.

The BMT will include elements of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and will be purely Carrot based, as it is unadvisable and unproductive to use the Stick method.

The TIC will not be cheap or quick and will require significant effort on your part but, once you have done the preliminary legwork and established a rhythm, you will find that the TIC will be successful beyond your wildest dreams. We all know that true happiness can be found in the great outdoors, and your beloved will thank you, one day.

For the purposes of this exercise we will not assume gender.

Step 1

Tell your lover that you are taking them for a romantic weekend.

  • If you are further encumbered by children, arrange to have them stay at Grannie’s house for the weekend.
  • When they ask where you are going, tell them that it will be a surprise.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is pre-packed with an easy set-up tent, a few candles, good dry firewood, a big soft mattress and camping chair, champagne, and pre-prepared food (their favorite).
  • Do not take any more than you absolutely need, ensure that the weather forecast is good, do not expect Bunny Poo to do anything but be pampered.
  • Be sure to arrive an hour before nightfall at an organised camp close to home, not too close to water or low-class people.
  • Make a small fire and quickly set up the camp, while Lovey Noodle sits back with a glass of champagne in their hand.
  • Hold them close while the sun sets.
  • Feed them the food.
  • Feed them strawberries covered with chocolate.
  • Lay them down on the soft bed and make love the way they like it, NOT the way you like it.
  • Wake them up with a flower and a cup of tea or coffee, pack up quickly, and whisk them off to a cozy restaurant for breakfast.
  • After a nice drive and a few hours spent looking at curios, buy something beautiful.
  • Arrive at a romantic getaway lodge where Shnookums can have a pedicure, then dinner.
  • Lay them down on the soft bed and make love the way they like it, NOT the way you like it.
  • Feed them strawberries covered with chocolate.
  • Stay two nights.
  • On the way home affirm, “Camping isn’t that bad, is it?” Pookie will agree and nod off.

Step 2

You will need to plant little “programmers” around the house.

  • The beautiful curios will be placed on their nightstand, the last thing they see before falling asleep and the first thing they will see when they wake.
  • Brochures of five-star camping or “glamping” scattered around the living room
  • Condé Nast Traveler or Overland Journal in the loo magazine holder
  • Schedule travel programmes on the TV; focus on white beaches, palm trees, hammocks.
  • Be subtle but be consistent.
  • Twice a week make love the way they like it, NOT the way you like it.
  • Feed them the strawberry centred chocolate
  • Bring them small gifts often and leave the gift on the coffee table, next to a new travel magazine.
  • They will become suspicious of all the attention. Tell them that you love them and you are trying to be the best partner you can be.

Step 3

Within two weeks, they will remind you of that wonderful weekend. This is the moment you have been waiting and preparing for.

  • Whisk Pooh Bear away and repeat that first weekend but camp for two nights, then spend one night in a little cabin.
  • Each night lay them down on the soft mattress and make love the way they like it, NOT the way you like it.
  • Feed them the chocolate covered strawberries.

Observation: Your partner will be happier, gloating to their friends and shining like a full moon. Your relationship will improve significantly. Not a bad thing. You will find that making your partner happy will make you happy and love will grow sweeter every day.

Keep your eye on the ball! Do not be distracted by your newfound happiness. Overlanding is the goal here, not a cruise or luxury getaway. Overland is the only decent way to travel, so focus!

Step 4

  • Continue the Travel Indoctrination Campaign, or TIC, remembering to be subtle.
  • Take Cuddle Bug camping once a month, introducing one child at a time.
  • Feed them the chocolate.

By now you will be able to measure their Residual Recreation Resistance (RRR), adapt the TIC accordingly. Within a year, Munchy Munch will be sleeping in a hammock on a river boat. Keep feeding them the chocolate.

Note: The author has been overlanding the planet consistently over five continents and six years with a wife and two children. He knows of what he speaks.

Check out our second book – Travel the Planet Overland for more nuggets of unobtanium.

Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell