Breathtaking vistas and romantic European villages became the backdrop to a couple’s unforgettable engagement. Julian thought Autobahn Adventures 2010 European tour would be a perfect way to start his new life with Erika. But before I tell you the story, let me introduce you to Erika and Julian. They are a true example of the type of people you will share a travel adventure with when you choose to travel with Autobahn Adventures.
Julian, founder and owner of the marketing company Web Video Vision, lives in Laguna Beach, California. Web Video Vision promotes clients through video, web design, and social media. Julian studied at University of California, Irvine, and continued his audio and visual studies at a trade school. Julian has always loved staying active and fit, especially by playing his favorite sport, tennis. He loves watching NBA basketball, high performance sports cars, and traveling the world. Julian met Erika when he was in Amsterdam and she was in Orange County - through a perfect eHarmony online match up. Julian and Erika found a strong connection through their mutual passion for cars and travel. Erika enjoys jogging, following “Up and Coming Bands”, fine wines, and spending time with her family. Her greatest interests, however, are cars and traveling. Erika started her career in the mortgage industry and by age of 24 she was the youngest Executive Vice President of a leading mortgage company, Impac. Lending. At age 31, Erika and her business partner founded HighTechLending, a mortgage bank.
Julian has always loved cars. He remembers listening to a family friend explain how every two years he would travel to Germany and pick up his Mercedes Benz directly from the factory floor, and then drive it home to England. This story inspired a dream for Julian: a dream of traveling to the Porsche factory in Germany, picking up his new sports car, and traveling through Europe. The dream seemed unattainable, but Julian held onto it, hoping some day to make it a reality. Over the years Julian has owned many different cars: Porsche, Corvette, Lotus, BMW, but his sentimental favorite remains the first car he ever owned, a 10th anniversary, limited edition Trans Am. Erika also grew up loving cars, and has a special passion for convertibles and BMWs. Her pride of ownership began when she was just 17 and, with her own money, bought a brand new white Volkswagen Cabriolet.
Though he wasn’t able to travel to Germany and handpick a new Porsche, Julian did fulfill a dream and buy a 2008 Porsche Carrera. Julian was at the Porsche dealership when he saw a flyer for Autobahn Adventures. It was as if someone had tailor-made a vacation to fulfill all his dreams: he would go to Germany and be provided with a brand new Porsche to drive around Europe. Julian, being both a romantic and a lover of symbolism, could imagine no grander way to propose to a woman who loves both travel and automobiles.
Julian was nervous the first four days of the trip. He wanted to find the most romantic and symbolic place he possibly could in which to propose to Erika. Julian’s nervous energy kept building, as they got closer to Lake Como, the picturesque Italian paradise where he had planned to propose. Then came a stop for picture taking at the border between Austria and Italy. Many pictures later, Erika was sitting in the driver’s seat of the Porsche ready to continue, when Julian suddenly decided this was his perfect moment. They were leaving one country for another, and Julian hoped to move them from one stage of their life to another. Julian asked Erika to come out of the car to look at something, but she was eager to keep moving forward. With a little smooth talking, Julian convinced Erika to step out of the car. And there, at the meeting point of two beautiful countries, Julian proposed to his true love. Julian waited in suspense as Erika, surprised and overwhelmed, said nothing at all. She, still slightly dazed, murmured, “But you aren’t on your knee.” Julian quickly dropped to his knee and asked Erika if she would be his wife- and she finally responded with a joyous “yes!”
When Julian and Erica arrived at Lake Como for dinner with the other tour guests, they were glowing. They told the group their happy news, and all their new friends exploded in applause. The night was spent giving heartfelt congratulations, drinking champagne, and sharing of many secrets to a happy marriage. Mark and Tina, the hosts of Autobahn Adventures, arranged for a romantic suite filled with flowers and champagne to celebrate the occasion. Though Julian and Erika had only known their fellow travelers for four days, everyone felt like close family members and they celebrated as a family for the rest of the trip. The dream vacation was a perfect complement to the dream engagement.
Since returning home from their blissful and extraordinary trip, Erika has bought a 2010 Porsche Panamera S – the same color she saw produced at the Porsche factory in Germany while on the Autobahn Adventure. Julian and Erika plan on returning to Europe next year for another life changing journey with Autobahn Adventures. Erika says that she was proposed to in Austria, engaged in Italy, and maybe now it is time to “add an addition” to their family in Germany. Julian quips that she must mean “adding another Porsche” to their family of cars.
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