I have had a hard determining just what to write updating our blog. As most all of you are aware, I lost the love of my life Toni Kuhl on February 4, 2017. It goes without saying that this has made a devastating change in my life. Toni and I were together
since I was 21 years old, nearly my entire adult life. And it has been an amazing life. A highlight of our life has been raising three great boys. My heart breaks for them having lost their mother. While we raised our boys to be strong and independent, and they certainly have become just that, the saying we had printed in Toni’s memorial program “Mom taught us everything, except how to live without her” is so true.
Toni and I have witnessed first hand how life can be cut short and loved ones taken from you at any time. This is one of the primary reasons we decide to embark on this amazing phase of our lives, fulltime RVing. As I think about it today, I am so thankful we made the tough decisions and took the steps to get on the road and make this life a reality. We truly embraced the idea of collecting experiences rather than things. During our nearly two and a half years on the road we grew so much closer to each other than we ever imagined we could. Wondering the country and simply being with each other turned out to be the best decision that we ever made. Toni told me on so many occasions just how happy she was with our life. If there is anything that is helping me deal with this tremendous loss, it’s the fact that we had the chance to live a life that so few ever get to experience. Our last two plus years I will hold forever as the exclamation point on our crazy life together. Toni will be forever with me and I am sure as time passes I will treasure every moment we had together even more. I was truly blessed to have been able to spend so much of my life with such an amazing women.
So, now for the question that has been asked of me hundreds of times in the last few weeks……”what will you do now?” That is indeed the million dollar question. Obviously, it has been suggested to me that I hang up the keys and get back to a “normal” life in Phoenix. I can say that one thing I know for sure, that idea does not interest me at all. I love living in the RV and the lifestyle that goes along with it. That being said, I am just not sure what that looks like on my own with just try trusty sidekick CC the beagle. Toni was in fact the compass for our travels. She had a long list of places she wanted to visit and things she wanted to experience. While we did not run on any particular schedule, Toni did determine where our travels took us. I on the other hand do not have such a list filled with places and experiences. As strange as it sounds, I am happy just about anywhere. For me our RV life was more about being “with” Toni than what we actually did or where we visited. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I enjoy. Most revolve simply around being in nature, such as mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, geocaching and just being outside. I may also have a bit of an affinity for craft beer, something that has guided us to some places we may not otherwise have been. Even so, I allowed Toni to have the final say on our routes and destinations, sometimes to her extreme frustration. I would simply give what she felt was the least input needed for a route to be established. THEN I would go to work seeing what I could find along the route our travels would take us. I had
no problem with giving input on what to do once we had a general direction established. Obviously this is going to have to change. If not, I will simply get to a spot and stay there not knowing where to go next. I am really struggling at the moment with this. As I said, I love living in the RV and traveling, I just have no idea where I should go. We have been fortunate to meet some amazing people out here on the road and it is tempting to just say “hey were are you going?” and then tag along. Obviously not a good plan for the long term. We have and I will continue to love meeting up with friends even if it means altering course. It seems that one main task for me going forward is to determine who I am on my own. Where do I want to go? What do I want to see? How long do I want to stay? What is my bucket list? So many questions and now I’m just waiting for the answers to come.
On top of all these things, I also have to deal with having no navigator. Toni was amazing at route planning and adjusting on the fly. I lazily allowed Toni to handle all the navigational tasks. Not that I don’t know how, I just didn’t have to do it. From checking Google Earth to find a gas station we could swing in and out of to programming the GPS and arguing with Siri, Toni ran the show. So add to my list not only determining where and when to go, but also how to get there. Regardless of the fact that my life will obviously be forever changed, I feel at this time I am living the life I want to live. The thought of being stationary in a “sticks and bricks” feels very foreign, and not only that, just feels wrong for who I have become. Me being the introverted half of our team, I am going to have to be willing to step outside my comfort zone and work to remain a part of the mobile community we have become a part of.
Bottom line, here I sit boondocking near great friends in the California desert. As I wait for inspiration and ideas to come to me, I will continue to live as we have lived the last two years. For the near future I’ll stay around the southwest to just see where life takes me. As for the blog, I plan to keep it up and keep it going, just not certain exactly how it will change or evolve. I’v started by just getting things back up to date and will continue to update, hopefully on a much more regular basis. A main purpose of our blog has always been to be a place for friends and family to keep up with what we’re up to. That will continue to be the case, now maybe even more so since I have had many people express concern about where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing now that I am on my own. I plan to keep the travel maps, locations, brewery list and other sections of the website all up to date, in addition to simply picking up the phone and talking to friends and family. I encourage everyone to comment or reach out at anytime, I really do want to stay as connected as possible. Toni and I embarked on this life, this Kuhl Odyssey, for so many reasons and I intend to carry on as I know she would want me to do. I sincerely thank everyone for all the kind words and prayers during this difficult time. The support I’ve felt from everyone around me has been amazing and means more to me that I can ever express…This entry was posted in Blog and tagged changedforever, fulltime, gorving, kuhl, kuhlodyssey, livingthedream, loss, nomadlife, rv, rvblog, rvlife, rvtravel, seneca, xscapers by Kurt Kuhl and comments are open.