A Kirkland couple recently took the trip of a lifetime, and unlike most trips seen only on social media to friends and family, this trip was nationally televised.
Margo and Doug Engberg were selected as contestants for the BYUtv show Relative Race, where four couples raced across the country, discovering distant relatives over 10 days competing for $25,000.
And they did all this without the use of modern technology.
The show has been described as a cross between the Amazing Race and Who Do You Think You Are.
“We thought ‘Oh cool, you know, we’ll give it a shot,’ not really thinking we’d get picked,” Margo said. “It was really cool, we didn’t know what to expect along the way at all.”
The Engbergs have been married for 14 years and set down roots in Kirkland, including their four children who attend local schools, and the Pinkabella Cupcakes chain of stores, which Margo owns.
Doug works with OliveCrest, a non-profit working to prevent child abuse and neglect in the foster system.
And despite their already impressive accomplishments, they said this was one of the most intense experiences they have had together.
“I found out that Margo and I can work really well together in a very stressful situation because each day was very unique,” Doug said.
Discovering distant relatives was also exciting the couple said. On the first day, they met Doug’s second cousin in California.
“I’m still truly blown away by how they could make those connections,” he said.
Margo was equally impressed at the research the show did in finding relatives.
“The coolest part about the whole show is just how they make the connections using your DNA,” she said.
Both Margo and Doug said being constantly filmed took a little getting used to, but after a while they forgot about the cameras.
“It was the thing we were the most nervous about going into it, we were a little bit scared, but just the whole process in general. Like, how are we going to come across?” Margo said. “It was nerve wracking to think about, but once we got on our way, it just became normal.”
The second episode aired March 6, and the Engbergs have returned to their lives in Kirkland, but Margo said she’s already had people come into her store telling her they saw her on television.
Another benefit, the couple said, is the experience strengthened their marriage.
“I wouldn’t call it a vacation, but it was definitely a great experience that we wouldn’t trade anything for,” Doug said.