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Readers connect with the blog on computers, tablets and their phones. So says my analytics.

The process of getting a blog post from its draft form in Microsoft Word onto the WordPress administrative panel where I schedule it to go live on Monday one minute after midnight is a many-stepped process. But the first step, after writing it, is to send the document to my sister who serves as my second set of eyes. You know how it is? We don’t make good editors of our own work because our brains know what we intended to write so somehow it’s what our eyes see.

Normally, my sister reads for edits only. She rarely comments on the post because I’m not asking for feedback. I ask only for corrections. But once in a while she feels compelled to talk about content. But even then, it’s just a sentence or two.

Last week, on the Pros of Solo RV Travel, she commented at the end. Awww, really good read. It was sweet. But the week before when I sent the Cons of Solo RV Travel, she wanted to know why I was starting with the negative post. Shouldn’t I start with the pro list and on a more positive note?

I told her I had a plan. I’m not sure if readers ever consciously notice it, but sometimes I have a purposeful flow to the posts. Not always, but sometimes I am particular about how information unfolds because one post builds or plays off of another post.

I tell you this because today I want to share a story about a woman who contacted me this past winter. I’ve wanted to tell it for a couple weeks now but felt strongly it belonged immediately following the solo traveler’s pros list.

The Supersize Life Blog Reader Avatar

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Analytics tells me this is not my average reader. But she is the person who reaches out to me most often.

I don’t know if other bloggers find this to be true, but my statistical reader looks very different from the readers who contact me. My analytics (the program you use to gets statistical data about your website) tell me readers are evenly split between men and women and that the largest percentage are under 35.

But the people who reach out to me directly don’t fall within that average.  Statistically speaking. More than any other group, I hear from single women over 50 who dream of the RV life but are hesitant because they are single, inexperienced and that makes them a little bit afraid.

Again and again, I tell them I know exactly how they feel. Four and a half years ago I said those very same words.


Mary was one such reader (though she did have RVing experience). Last winter, she found my blog and contacted Oliver Travel Trailer asking to speak to me. They, in turned, contacted me, asking me to contact Mary since they cannot give my number out directly. I called her and we had a lovely hour-long conversation.

She retired as a teacher but went back to teaching part-time because she didn’t feel confident about her monthly retirement income. I shared with her that doubts never go away and my belief no amount of money in the bank will feel like enough. And, still, I say, “Do it.”

Mary wanted to talk about full-time RV life as well as my trailer. As I’ve said before Oliver Travel Trailers are unbelievably expensive, three times more than other fiberglass trailers. So, it takes careful consideration before deciding to buy one. She loved the trailer but hated the price tag so wanted to know the details of whether or not I was happy with my decision. Despite being new to RVing and to my trailer, I provided as complete of a picture as I could.

Since my conversation with Mary, other single women over 50 have asked Oliver to put them in contact with me. But Mary was the first. If for no other reason, she remains special to me for that alone. I was so nervous at first because it seemed odd to me that a stranger wanted to talk to me. Who was I?

But within minutes, I felt completely comfortable and we chatted and chatted. And an hour flew by. And a few weeks later, she ordered her Oliver.

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Mary had a party to shave her head “because cancer doesn’t decide when.” It even said so on her cake.

We became Facebook friends and kept up through email. Then on Valentine’s Day this year, I saw on Facebook that her cancer from the prior year returned. I hadn’t known she had it previously. Her posts were positive and hopeful. She focused on beating cancer and “getting on with life.”

By the middle of summer, chemo stopped working and the tumors continued to grow. She said she awaited other options. But, reading between the lines, I knew. Options weren’t going to change the outcome. Her posts continued to be positive, always hopeful but it was clear the situation was bleak. Posts became less frequent. Her last post in early August actually apologized for not posting more often.

In early September, her brother posted an update on her behalf. And in mid-September, he reported that Mary died.

Mary never even saw her new Oliver. It waited in Tennessee for her to get well enough to pick it up. But she never did. The closest she came to seeing it was when she got to tour the trailer on Facetime.

I don’t tell you this story to make you sad or to break your heart. Although I know it does both.  I tell it to you to also say that I’ve now heard three very similar stories during my year on the road. One with the same outcome.

Supersize Dreams

Supersize dreams are easy to dream and hard to execute. Despite the last six months of her life, I count Mary among the lucky when it comes to dreams. It’s heartbreaking she never saw her Oliver, never got to camp in it or experience full-time RV adventures. But, I’m happy to say, she hadn’t put all her retirement fun plans on hold until actual retirement. Looking through her Facebook feed, I saw post after post of camping, activities and adventures.

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Make this your new mantra.

In the month since she died, I’ve thought a lot about Mary. Quite often, I go back to her fear of not having enough retirement income, especially as I wrestle with figuring out my own finances.

Because it is easier than the full explanation, when people ask if I’m retired, I simply say, “Yes.” But, from the beginning, when I opted for RV life now rather than someday (in other words: 15 years before official retirement age), I knew it wouldn’t be Easy Street. The RV life I planned for three and a half years included a debt-free trailer and tow vehicle plus two to three years of living expenses. That’s it.

I hoped to figure a way to cobble together a living on the road by the time savings ran out. But, during the planning phase, I didn’t discount the possibility that I might have to go back to pre-RV life, get a traditional job, etc.

But here’s the thing: RV life is my Supersize dream (though it didn’t start out that way). I cannot paint myself into a picture any longer that includes a more traditional life. If it wasn’t clear to me before, it certainly has been in the last month. In last week’s post I said the biggest pro of solo RV life (and really solo has nothing to do with it….it is the biggest pro of full-time RV life period) is that it is the life I chose.

So many unknowns remain in my life and in my future. Still, I wouldn’t trade this life for security or money. (For longtime readers, you know how often I’ve talked about the need for security in my pre-RV life. It’s strange how things change when you least expect it.)

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Don’t wait for the stars to align. Make them align.

This post is a bit more rambling and meandering than most, I know. I cannot help it. I think I’m not done reflecting on Mary and what her story can teach me. But I didn’t want to wait to write the post.


Because if you aren’t living your Supersize life or working toward your Supersize dream, I want to you think about Mary and the other Marys out there.

Don’t wait!

I think having a Supersize dream is kind of like having a kid (or so I’m told), you simply cannot wait for the ideal time. You cannot wait for every single star to line up and the universe to tell you that the time is now. Because if you wait for that, the only thing you’ll ever be doing is dreaming. And waiting.Sand castle that says Stop Waiting.

Mary’s story is a good reminder that life is unbelievably short and not a one of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Or, even, how many tomorrows we have. So, make today count. Live like today matters.

Because it does.

One Year Ago

These reflections come at a particularly apt time for me. In a couple days, I mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of my RV life. You might remember the drama on the day I originally scheduled to pick up the trailer. It resulted in a delay, but only by a day.

I officially took possession of the trailer, Quill, on October 24, 2017.

I’m not sure if it’s because time just goes so fast or if it’s because of my slow travel style, but it sure doesn’t feel like I have a year’s worth of experience under my belt. I’m not scared the way I was at the beginning. The post that continues to elicit the most emails is the one about my first 72 hours as an RVer and how hard those hours were and how ill-prepared I was for how hard it would be.

I still feel like I don’t know more than I know. That doesn’t seem like it should be true. But it is. A future post, a long one, will show how much I still don’t know. And that’s only the stuff I know I don’t know. Imagine if there were a way to include the stuff I don’t know that I don’t know.

So, here’s to the excitement about what the second year of RV life will bring. Here’s to ALL of us following or working toward our Supersize dream in order to live a Supersize Life.

Full Circle

At my one-year anniversary as a nomad, I want to say thank you for following along on this journey. All the emails and comments, social media likes and shares, fill me with gratitude and appreciation. It is an amazing feeling when people reach out to say something that I’ve written encourages or inspires them. I simply cannot find the words to express what that does to my soul. Like Mary’s story, it confirms to me that I’m on the right path.Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Just last week—as if by the universe’s intervention to make things somehow complete, I had another woman—solo and 72—send me an email. She wants the RV life but has never even used a gas grill so the propane is intimidating. She is scared. But her email says emphatically that despite fear, she is determined.

And my heart sings.

What more is there to say? My heart sings.

Would love to hear about your Supersize dream and plan and life in the comments.


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