In a study of 1,000 adults conducted by The U.S. Travel Association, a surprising outcome was discovered. That is, traveling improves our sex life. 77% of the couples in the study reported that their sex life “drastically improved,’ after travel. More than that, travel has an effect on the longevity of a marriage, since the study found that 84% of couples who travel regularly made it past the five year mark—a substantially higher number than the national average.
The Travel Association’s data was aimed at proving that a correlation exists between romance and leisure activities—meaning, that the more we play together, the more we feel ‘romance,’ and the more we feel desire for each other.
That’s a big claim. So let’s think this through. What do we get out of traveling? First, we upend all of the stuff that’s usual in our days, and that alone can ignite a little fire in our belly. But then—particularly if it’s international travel we’re talking about—getting out on the road jump-starts our sense of discovery, our willingness to adapt, and our ‘thrill factor’ in just upending our daily life for the unknown quest.
When we talk about creating romance in long term love—and I detail this in my new book—it could be anything at all that floats our marital boat. It could be tango dancing, building train sets, cooking together, hiking the local hills, or dancing to 60’s music in our living room that feels like romance. Romance is about ease—fun, delight, and sweetness with no particular responsibility attached to it.
My in-laws, in their retirement, became fans and season ticket holders of the Stanford women’s basketball team. She loved anything that empowered women; he loved all things sports; so they consciously chose becoming fans as something they’d both have a blast doing. Still to this day, at the age of 94, my mother in law still drives herself down there to every game—a statement of how powerful that simple romantic choice was when her husband was alive.
When we look through the lens of romance as anything fun or different—anything that gets us out of our daily routine—travel surely fits the bill. It makes us see our self and our spouse differently. It fills us with wonder as we see beautiful and new sites; eat new-to-us and different foods; discover new ways of living that we had not thought about. It deepens our mutual experience cache, so that when we come home, we have a bright, rich and lush history of experience that we can draw on—one that reminds us that our life together is good.
For me, I’ve traveled all over the world, and a good chunk of that travel was solo quests when I was single. And marital travel is surely different than hitching it solo. Now, as my husband and I travel together, we purposely put ourselves in non-Americanized places to feel into what it means to be alive, what it is to know our world, and what it’s like to see beyond our own culture. For us, that thrills us. We come back with little art pieces that adorn our home, which remind us of the lightheartedness of being on the road together. And that cements our love.
The upshot is, we can cultivate our love for each other and for beauty by getting’ out of Dodge—by taking our daily vision and upending it, and together engaging in experience that rock our hearts and thrill our souls. And when we’re thrilled, that exciting adrenaline rush opens us up to everything sensual in love.
So even if it’s just a-town-a-way-for-a-day, getting our traveling groove on can kick start the desire and romance we’re all longing for.