Find your way, find yourself
Meet entrepreneur Gundula Cöllen and discover how the XC90 helps her make the most of the everyday.
After travelling the world for 12 years, Cologne-born entrepreneur Gundula Cöllen decided it was time to return to Germany and reconnect with her homeland. And when it came to choosing a city in which to settle down in and start up a new business, she only had one place in mind – Berlin. “Berlin is so international,” Gundula explains. “It’s full of people who have lived all over the world. It’s a very free city.”
It was this sense of freedom and cosmopolitan spirit that convinced Gundula Berlin was the perfect place for her to launch her new business venture – Becycle. Becycle is a boutique fitness studio, which combines Gundula’s two great passions in life – fitness and music. “I first became interested in fitness when I moved to London. Then when I moved to Berlin, I fell in love with the local electronic music scene. No matter where you go in this city, you hear music. So I thought ‘how can I combine listening to great music with working out?’ The answer was Becycle.”
To make the most of life in a large city like Berlin, you have to stay connected – not just with work and friends, but with what’s going on around you. And Gundula believes a car can play a key role in helping her keep control of her busy lifestyle. “Berlin is so big and my days are so hectic just now,” she says. “Before I start my day I try to organize my calendar and I always have a to-do list up and running – but I need a little help. So I use a lot of apps on my phone. Basically, I need to be connected, otherwise it’s hard to organise my life.”
Being so reliant on her mobile phone, one of the features of the XC90 that can really make Gundula’s everyday life simpler is Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay takes selected functions from the iPhone and makes them conveniently available via the car’s central driver display. “It’s great to have a large screen in the car that allows you to access certain apps and information you have on your Phone. I find when you’re driving, you don’t want to get into any unsafe situations where you’re constantly taking your eyes off the road to look at your mobile.” Another function that can help Gundula keep track of her busy schedule is ‘Send to Car’. With meetings spread out all over the city, ‘Send to Car’ allows Gundula to send destinations directly to the XC90’s Sensus navigation system from the browser in a computer or via the Volvo On Call app on her smartphone.This means the most effective route to her next meeting is already waiting for her when she activates the navigation system – not only that, as Sensus is connected to the Internet, the route is continually updated with the latest live traffic and weather news.
* Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc.
* Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc.
Every morning, Gundula gets up early, grabs a juice at her favourite juice bar and then drives to Tiergarten for a run.Tiergarten is one of Berlin’s largest and most popular inner-city parks, and to make sure she beats the morning traffic Gundula makes full use of the XC90’s navigation system. In fact, almost every aspect of Gundula’s day is made easier and more convenient by either the navigation system or the other connected on-board innovations in the car – whether it’s meeting up with her architect on site, or exchanging important messages with her business partner using Apple CarPlay. Everything in Gundula’s world happens quickly, and things can change in an instant. This is where a state-of-the-art navigation system like Sensus navigation and features such as ‘Send to Car’ can help Gundula stay one-step-ahead.
The beauty of Berlin
But driving in Berlin isn’t just reserved for business. It’s a beautiful city, which is always evolving and fully deserves to be explored. And according to Gundula, the best way to explore it is by car. “I think the beauty of Berlin lies in the unexpected. You constantly get surprised in this city. You get surprised by the people who live here, by what people do here, by the exciting things that are constantly happening all around you. For me, this is the beauty of Berlin.” But if you’re looking a more traditional notion of beauty, Berlin has its fair share of stunning parks and is surrounded by delightfully contrasting countryside. Driving from the east to the west is one of the most scenic routes through the city, where the wide streets give you a sense of space amidst such big city surroundings.
“Driving here is very easy,” explains Gundula. “Berlin has a lot of very wide streets. And when you have a great navigation system, it’s much easier to explore different suburbs, see different things and discover new cafes and restaurants. In summer, I love to take the car with friends and travel to one of the beautiful lakes around the city. It’s wonderful to be able to spend the day out there and re-connect so easily with nature.” So, at the end of the day, what does Gundula look for in a car? “I think a car has to serve two needs. You want it to look good and have a very modern design, but functionality is something no car should miss nowadays. But for Gundula, the most important thing a car gives her is something you can’t find in any showroom or fit at a factory – freedom. “When I have a car, I feel like I own the city because I can get anywhere. So, for me a car is freedom.”