My dog’s newest thing is the morning bark. I don’t know how or why it started but she’s been doing it for about nine months now. After we wake up and get to the front door, I hook her up to her leash and we step outside. She looks around and lets out a few good long loud barks.  In the dark mornings of winter, I thought maybe she was seeing something I couldn’t. It made me nervous. In the light hours of summer, I’ve come to realize she is barking at nothing but air.

A typical Lab, Solstice is goofy, fun-loving and assumes everyone is her best friend. However, her bark could frighten a bear. It certainly scares the skin off humans. It’s deep and loud and she sounds like an angry police dog on steroids.


Solstice on one of our morning walks.

But the truth is, even though I tell her to stop, I secretly love it. It seems to me that she is expressing pure joy. I translate the morning bark to say: Hello world! Hello new day! Prepare to be conquered!

April 2016 was the second anniversary of my decision to create a Supersize LIFE by becoming a fulltime RVer. Remember the post, How to Change a Light Bulb, or Four Years of Planning, Really? Two years flew by and, despite all the planning, preparation, research and downsizing I’d done to that point, I still felt behind. I felt I would never be ready to leave in 2018.

At the same time, even though two years went by in a flash, the prospect of waiting another two years was as appealing as slogging through mud on a cold day. From here, two years seems forever away. When you decide to remake your life, you want that new life to begin as fast as humanly possible.

The ugly unattractive side of being an ultra-planner is that planning is never finished, never enough. And last spring I realized, and this is hard to admit, I will never feel fully ready. It’s just my nature. Part of me will always feel behind and panicked that I won’t be ready to embark on the adventure.

But at least I can recognize that about myself. And if I take it as fact, it opens me up to be able to ask the question, “Then why wait?” That question, after that realization, has been wandering around the folds of my brain since. At the most fundamental level, there is only two things I have to do to hit the road.  First, I have to buy a rig.  Second, I have to move into a rig. That’s it. Yes, a lot comes with those two things but, still, they are only two. Everything else is optional. Besides time for planning and preparation, there was a second reason I chose 2018 as my launch date. I wanted those four years to squirrel away as much money as possible.

At this point, I increase the pot by about $35,000 annually. This comes from cash I put into the bank, interest on existing accounts and investments, retirement funds my employer puts into my fully-vested retirement account and equity gained by paying down principle on my house.


The dream pot.

You have to concede that $35,000 would give most people cause for pause. Add me, a person who struggles with change, to the mix and I think you can see how easy it was for me to decide on four years of planning. You can probably also see how easy it would be for me to talk myself out of this adventure, one year at a time, by rationalizing it was another $35,000 to the dream pot.

But, of course, it would not be a dream pot if it wasn’t used to make a dream come true.

So, in spite of fear (or maybe because of it), I’m happy and excited to announce I have made the decision to get to that Supersize LIFE sooner than originally planned. I decided to shave one full year off the road to a Supersized LIFE.

The adventure now begins in the summer or early fall of 2017.

In Funding a Supersize LIFE, by leaving in 2018, I estimated I’d be buying between three and four years without needing to earn income. This new decision simply means that I’ll need to earn earlier. And I’m actually looking forward to earning opportunities on the road so I don’t view it as a hardship. It makes me a little uncomfortable that my dream pot will be smaller than planned, but that’s me and my need for security. It’s not a necessity to begin the adventure.

In Alaska, the days are turning dark again. My dog and I no longer take our morning walk in the light of day. Still, the morning bark continues. And some days, when we step outside into the crisp morning and she barks at air, I will confess, I forget manners, forget the sleeping neighbors and let my dog bark to her heart’s content.

I tell her I know exactly how she feels. Hello world. Hello new day. Prepare to be conquered.