ROOM FOR INSPIRATION.
Bestselling author Mirna Funk loves a road trip – on her own, with a companion or a full car. Where the boundaries between city and countryside blur – that’s where her MINI Countryman comes into its own.
Passing my driving test in summer 1999, shortly after my 18th birthday, was torture, and not just because the traffic in Berlin was hell. It was more my driving instructor, who preferred to stare at my legs than explain things properly. I ended up teaching myself everything: how to brake, how to shift gears, when to look over my shoulder. I was rewarded for my diligence on the day of my driving test. A car drew up beside me, the driver opened the window and said that he’d never seen anyone parallel-park so well. My examiner was silent. I nodded knowingly. Driving: it’s totally my thing. I bought my first car two years later. Since then, not a single day has passed where I haven’t sat happily behind the wheel. I never take the bus or train, never ever use a bike. Too crowded, too strenuous. In winter, I refuse to walk a step. I know – it’s not exactly something to be proud of in this day and age dominated by the climate crisis. But for me, driving is much more than just a convenient way of getting around. It’s a special lifestyle. Fast, but safe. Cocooned, but still right where the action is. Alone in the car or with company, driving gives me a great sense of freedom. Particularly if your car offers you as many options as the new MINI Countryman does. No matter where I happen to be or what situation I’m in.
Mirna Funk, 39, lives for inspiration and creativity. The German author likes to free her mind by getting behind the wheel of her MINI: To set off, open the windows and feel the freedom.
ALL BY MYSELF.
ON LONG JOURNEYS, WHEN TIME HAS NO LIMITS, THAT’S WHEN WE SENSE THE COMPLEXITY THAT WE HUMANS ARE MADE OF.
A DYNAMIC DUO.
ALL TOGETHER NOW.
The greatest driving experience, though, is in a group – with family, friends, with four or five people piled into the front and back seats for a joint mission, experience or outing. In moments like this the adventure starts before you even get in. It’s the planning, the phone calls, the chats in WhatsApp groups. About where and when to meet, how many bags everybody can take, who can drive, when would they like to and for how long. And once you’re in the car, you realise what a road trip like this is really about: it’s all about the sense of community, the “we”. Whether we’re heading to the seaside to relax, to the beach to surf or to the coast to hike – the destination doesn’t really matter at all. What matters is that we’re together. When each of us lets go, handing over the wheel or the satnav to someone else, and when we all pull together, sharing a common goal, then there’s simply no better trip. The route is long enough for everyone to take a turn in the driving seat, enjoy the curves of the coastal road, push out the stress of the week by kicking down on the accelerator. Everyone takes a turn at lounging on the back seat, gazing over the golden fields that stretch to the horizon and letting their thoughts wander. And when the sunshine pours through the Countryman’s panorama sun- roof, we arrive where we want to be much faster than expected. There, in a spot on the shimmering golden coast, is where we park our MINI. We lie on the ground, the salt on our skin, the sun warming the backs of our necks letting our legs dangle and our minds wander. Together. There is probably no greater inspiration for what is really important in life. So who’s going to put up the tent?
There’s more than enough space on the back seat of the MINI Countryman for family and friends. The spacious boot holds a tent, sleeping bags, folding chairs, a camping stove.