Travel Blog 2: Back on the Road

2020 has been recognized as the strangest year in our lifetimes. Unfortunately, many people are feeling the sadness and frustration that has entered our world. My optimistic mind says “Life has been difficult, but we’re all going to come out of this much stronger.” There is a major opportunity for people to be creative, ambitious, and impact the revolution we’re living in.

The mission of Kuston Kyle is to spread peace and happiness through art, travel, and making mental health a priority. Every time I interact with a stranger, I find myself walking away with a smile, a new perspective on life, and learn quite a bit about myself. With the pandemic heating up and the weather cooling off, I feel nature calling my name. The Blazer is packed for me sleep in, full of vegetables to cook over fire, and plenty of personal projects to keep my mind occupied. Safety is absolutely a priority on this mission to drive around, helping others navigate their way through this year of unpredictable chaos.

My first stop (on September 24th) was to explore my Illinois roots by visiting the native land at Starved Rock to learn more about the Illiniwek Indian Tribe. Can you imagine hiding away on a surrounded rock until starving to death? The river and trails at the famous state park are remarkable, but the history is much more intriguing.

Continuing my roots tour, I revisited my college campus at Illinois State University.  Lake Evergreen in Comlara State Park is where I fell in love with the outdoors, spending many evenings on a mountain-bike before sitting beside a fire under the stars. Revisiting these howling winds recovered amazing college memories. Venturing to town (Normal, IL), I drove by my old apartments, walked around campus, and returned for a burger at my favorite pub in town. I was impressed to see outdoor seating, patrons spread about indoors, and masks on all staff and guests while walking around. It was nice to bump into the old regulars-at-the-bar that I’ve been curious about for the past ten years. Brew-Ha’s raised the entrance age to 30 years old and still make a very tasty burger and fry special!

I capped off my return to ISU with my first concert since the pandemic entered our world. At the Cornbelters Baseball Stadium, three bands came together to provide 4 plus hours of music at the socially distanced event. While the field was spread out to separate the crowd, I stayed with Blaze (my wheels) to listen in my chair outside the car. Come the end of the show, it may have been the first time I ever watched a concert from my warm sleeping bag. No doubt it was a different experience, but seeing live music again brought in the same joy that it always has.

After a weekend like that, I’m ready for life on the road, and all the mysteries around the bend.


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