Joyce (and Amber Rose)

WA-based solo traveller Joyce L, 74, made the switch form a caravan and neither her – not poodle companion, Amber – have looked back since!

So, you travel alone?
Not really. I travel with my red standard poodle called Amber Rose, who actually thinks she is part human. I would never consider travelling without Amber. Sure, I can’t take her into some national parks etc, but I am comfortable with that. The comfort I have from knowing that she will alert me if there is anything odd around is worth everything to me. She goes everywhere with me and knows the right be­haviour on the ‘cafe strip’, and waiting outside dress shops!

What’s your rig?
I now travel in my nice new 21’ Fiat Ducati motorhome. It’s completely self contained, is the perfect size for me, and is easy to park and reverse … but it’s still comfortable for living. Over the years, I have had four caravans but now find hooking up and unhooking a bother.

Is a motorhome different?
Yes, there is a difference, and you do have to adapt. After be­ing used to having a separate vehicle, I now plan my food shopping to be done before I ‘settle in’ for the night. I also carry a lightweight electric folder bike just in case I might need to ‘duck down the shop’. After raising my family and running my business, I now love having time to enjoy every day’s adventure.

Is ‘solo’ life good?
I am happy to be alone but I also enjoy meeting and chat­ting to like minded people. I enjoy my evenings, usually in the security of a van park with my music on or watching a video and cooking a healthy meal, something like fish and veggies, salad, or soup.

What wouldn’t you be without?
My coffee machine and the pressure cooker!

Where do you camp?
I sometimes stay out at free camps, providing there are other caravanners/motorhom­ers there, but I don’t feel comfortable ‘camping out’ alone. I feel there is a place for caravan parks and a place for free camping in this large and beautiful country. I think we all should have the option.

Hobbies of the road?
One of my favourite things to do is to fossick around old deserted towns and build­ings, taking good photos, and always enjoying seeing people’s collections and antique shops. I also love going in ‘convoy’ with friends and visiting friends on the east coast.

Where next?
My next trip will be to Tam­worth, New South Wales, for the country music festival. I plan to stay on the road at least a couple of months and ‘do’ some trips later in Western Australia. And, if there is any time left over, I would like to fit in an overseas trip.


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