• Home
  • /
  • Adventure
  • /
  • The Moment Collectors, by Sam Manicom and Friends

The Moment Collectors, by Sam Manicom and Friends

I’ve never been much of a short-story reader; I like to invest in written tales for book-length escapes from reality. However, The Moment Collectors is a different kind of collection of short stories altogether—at least it was for me. As a round-the-world motorcycle traveler, there was something in each writer’s tale that I could directly relate to, like how deep friendships on the road happen so much faster than at home. Or the feeling of wet boots and old socks and getting screwed over for the price of a hotel room. Because of this, every story—although uniquely written—created an overall feeling of unison and cohesion. By the last page of The Moment Collectors, I had the same thoughts I’d had after returning from two years of riding through 40 countries: people are wonderful everywhere, and the world should not be feared. I also felt a good dose of nostalgia.

Whether you’re working up the nerve to take a week-long motorcycle journey or are saving every cent for that trip around the world, this compilation from well-traveled moto writers will get you in the right frame of mind.

The Moment Collectors, as Sam puts it, is “a celebration of motorcycle overlanding” in which “twenty authors share the surprises and all the natural dramas of travel: the fun, the laughter, the high points, and the lows; the challenges and the outcomes.”

Those 20 writers are Claire Elsdon, Geoff Hill, Spencer James Conway and Cathy Nel, Brian Rix and Shirley Hardy-Rix, Ted Hely, Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford, Mark Donham, Graham Field, Tiffany Coates, EmmaLucy Cole, Tim and Marisa Notier, Christian Brix, Helen Lloyd, Michelle Lamphere, Travis and Chantil Gill, Simon and Lisa Thomas, Daniel Byers, Geoff Keys, Michnus and Elsebie Olivier, Sam Manicom and Birgit Schünemann.

I enjoyed noticing the actual moments in each rider’s story where I sensed what really mattered to them: fondness for a loved one back home, not taking a single day for granted, the power of humor when things get tough—making the book’s title so apt. It’s not just about the moments collected on the road, but what the road does to collect moments from the past.

Sam’s goal was to give people “something fun and optimistic to read” with I didn’t know that entertainment and the encouragement to explore more.

The extra touches he added make the book even more endearing: beautiful illustrations by Simon Roberts, thought-provoking quotes, and contact information with social media links at the end of each author’s story. A sturdy bookmark with Sam’s other book titles and where to find them is a clever touch.

The writing itself is as diverse as each traveler. Out of consideration, Sam allowed writers to tell their tales in their own voices, with minimal editing done only for grammar and spelling mistakes. As a result, there is a great mix of serious, humorous, and insightful words throughout. It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud while reading a book, and some of these writers nailed the comedy aspect. Some are self-deprecating about their naivety, some poetic in their descriptions of their whereabouts. Others are purely pragmatic or even grieving. Yet all are on two wheels exploring the world.

The stories take readers along the Trans-Labrador Highway, through African deserts, Andean backroads, the Pamir Highway, and other fascinating global destinations. From ruptured colons to riding in -22°C, as Lois Pryce says in her foreword, “It’s a big ’ol global family affair.”

If you’ve ever wanted to know what long-distance moto travel feels like, you’ll have a pretty good idea by the end of this book.

There is still true adventure out there. Go find it!

But first, read The Moment Collectors.

Our No Compromise Clause: We carefully screen all contributors to ensure they are independent and impartial. We never have and never will accept advertorial, and we do not allow advertising to influence our product or destination reviews.

Heather Lea has traveled to over 60 countries, 40 of which were on a BMW F 800 GS during a 708-day round-the-world motorcycle adventure with now-husband, Dave Sears (Trip Blog: Riding Full Circle). Heather has been a freelance writer for over twenty-five years and a book and magazine editor for more than fifteen. Aside from Expedition Portal, her stories can be found in Overland Journal, Canadian Geographic, Kootenay Mountain Culture, and Canadian Alpine Journal. She loves doing anything in the backcountry, including backpacking, four-wheel-driving, ski touring, and climbing. Heather is a Canadian now living in Bellingham, WA. Find her on Instagram @writer_heather_lea or on Facebook @heatherleawriter.