“Dreaming about driving off into the sunset and doing the ‘big lap’ of Australia?
Gold Coast resident Kari Rawlings, did just that; at the age of 69 she jumped in her white Fiat Ducato motorhome, nicknamed ‘Snowfall’, and set off with her dog Bella on their big adventure. Doing the ‘big lap’ is something that most Australians put on their list of things to do in their retirement — usually with their life partner; cruising slowly and hitting the caravan parks along the way.
In recent times, the increase of solo Aussie women travellers are smashing this stereotype and hitting the road alone — and changing the scope of motorhome life on the move. Kari, who turns 70 this year, thrives on the empowerment and freedom that roadtripping alone gives you. Kari bought her Fiat Ducato ‘Melaleuca’ motorhome from Horizon Motorhomes in 2012 and has lived her life on the road with her beloved 9-year old dog Bella ever since. They’ve been on so many enviable and solo adventures around the country, though it is her latest trip circumnavigating around Australia and completing the ‘big lap’ that is the most remarkable — she has ticked off a huge ‘bucket list’ item. “I have to pinch myself that I actually just did that…but I did! Every single day was a highlight… Australia is just a wonderful country.”
When the big day came it began like any other — popping in for lunch at the local RSL with her family and friends. After preparing and packing, she and Bella headed south towards the Burringbar Range. On her journey, she marvelled at endless scenery of sparkling waterways, enchanting beaches, charming country towns, striking desert landscapes and friendly people almost everywhere she went, including many other solo women on the road.
I was surprised at just how many independent women there are on the road. So many women are there to support you if you need it and I’ve made many friendships…”
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