Maria Vamvouklis is a woman on a mission.
The naturopath & performance coach from Sydney left the big city on Saturday (17th September 2016) to tackle the remoteness of the Australian outback on a solo ride from Sydney to Perth and back again, and it’s all for a good cause.
Maria is making the roughly 12,000 km trek to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention charity R U OK?
Her own personal story inspired her to become a naturopath and she now specialises in mental health, working particularly with people suffering from anxiety and depression.
As an R U OK? Ambassador Maria decided to embrace her love of adventure riding to travel across the country, stopping in at various communities to raise awareness of mental health issues and let people know there are resources available to help them.
“It’s about starting those conversations and putting people in contact with the right resources to get help with depression and anxiety,” she said.
She has chosen the BMW because the planned route takes her off road for about half of the journey.
From Sydney, Maria was escorted by fellow bike riders to Lithgow, and then headed to Broken Hill.
She will then travel through the Flinders Ranges and Lake Gardiner National Park, across the Nullabour to Norseman, Hyden and then on to Perth.
The return journey is planned to take her on a more coastal route through Margaret River, Denmark, Albany, Esperance, up through Balladonia across the Nullabour to Ceduna, Adelaide, Swan Hill, the Snowy Mountains and then back to Sydney.
Maria expects the entire trip to take just on 4 weeks and she is planning on being back in Sydney by the 15th October.
By Sunday night (18/9/16) Maria had successfully made it to Broken Hill, but not without facing a few challenges along the way, including cold and wet weather conditions.
We are following Maria on her journey and will check in with her during our next Motorcycle Life Radio show.
You can follow her as well through updates on Maria’s Facebook page – Lipstick Motorbikes – and support her fundraising efforts through EveryDay Hero.