Love is a many splendoured tour

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Johannesburg - When Paul Reeves of New Braunfels, Texas, booked his first Insight Vacation in August 2011, he had no idea the trip was going to change his life.

A widower, Paul chose Insight’s European Breakaway tour because he and his wife had planned to go to Europe before she got sick, and he felt it was something she would want him to do. He had heard great things about Insight from a friend and the timing was right, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Susan Frantz booked the same Insight Vacation because she had always wanted to see London, had been on a previous Insight Vacations trip to Italy, and only had that particular week off. Fate did the rest.

As it turned out, Paul and Susan were the only two people on the trip who were travelling without companions, so after they met on the first day, they often sat together, enjoying each other’s company.

Paul and Susan kept in touch as friends after the trip, exchanging casual e-mails and pictures and, when Susan suggested he join her on the Capitals of Eastern Canada trip last July, he agreed. Once again travelling as singles, this time they spent all their time together and, by the end of the holiday, knew something serious was going on.

After they returned from Canada, Paul flew to Wisconsin and met Susan’s family; Susan travelled to Texas for a week, they began to Skype and talk turned to the future. They decided to book the Insight Christmas Markets tour in December, and by the time they went to Europe, they had picked out rings.

Although friends and family kept asking, they didn’t say a word about their future plans. Paul decided the Christmas Markets tour would be the perfect place to get engaged.

Paul had originally planned to propose in Salzburg on Christmas Eve on a horse-drawn carriage ride, but everything was shutting down early, so when the tour guide suggested going on The Sound of Music tour as an optional excursion in Salzburg – and in particular he talked up the gazebo in Schloss Hellbrunn, where Captain Von Trapp proposed to Maria in the movie – Paul knew instantly where he would ask Susan to marry him.

As the group stopped in front of the gazebo for a photo opportunity, when it was Paul and Susan’s turn, he handed his camera to a friend, got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and said, “will you marry me?”

They are considering an Insight Vacation for their honeymoon. - Saturday Star

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