One More State Journey


Peter Bustlier just has to go to Kentucky to reach 50 states.

It’s not every day that you meet a person that has been to almost 50 states or has been married for 32 years to the same person.

Peter Bustlier, a 53-year-old Chaminade graduate, has done both.

Together, Bustlier has explored and traveled to 49 states with his wife, Tanya Bustlier, in the last 32 years. In 1998, the couple traveled to Louisiana for Mardi Gras. He claims it was wild, noisy and colorful. They have also visited California and enjoyed some tasty Mexican food.

“We love traveling,” Bustlier said. “My goal is to reach all 50 states with my wife.”

Their first state visited was Hawaii in 1982. The difference in all the states such as scenery, food and culture sparked their inspiration to travel.

“I remember when we first went to Hawaii we were in Waikiki at the beaches and my wife stepped in the sand and watched the sunset,” Bustlier said. “That’s what hooked us into staying here.”

Coming from a small town of around 154,000 people in Warren near Detroit. The state held nothing appealing but flat land, cold weather and no scenic beauty.

The contrast of beautiful beaches, warm weather, mountains, beautiful flowers and greenery they made Oahu their new home.

Detroit then became a speck in the sand in his thoughts.

From traveling to Hawaii, curiosity became their determination to travel to all the other states. Making it a goal to see all 50 states hand in hand with his wife. Kentucky is the last state on their list.

Hawaii was their favorite state, but he said their most interesting states have been Maine, California and Louisiana.

He said the little town in Maine called Camden reminded him of the movies. It was small town with a population around 5,000 people.

“Being black we definitely stood out,” said Bustlier, who is African-American.

Unfortunately, the couple has not traveled as much recently as they would like. Tanya Bustlier was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Even now, the chemotherapy she is still enduring has been taken a toll on her day-to-day activities.

“My wife is always tired,” Bustlier said. “The chemotherapy drains all the energy from her.”

However, the good news is her last treatment should be in the middle of December, making it possible for her to travel. She will still need to have regular check ups but the cancer that came back is mostly gone.

In celebration, Bustlier plans to surprise his wife for Christmas with a trip to Kentucky in January. He had researched and plans to stay at a bed and breakfast called The Veranda, which is a 100-year-old home in Bardstown, just south of Louisville.

Bustlier thinks it will be different and comforting experience. Also, staying at the bed and breakfast they won’t have to dine out as often.

In addition, they will visit the Barton 1792 Distillery & Visitor Center, the Kentucky Derby Museum and vibe to some cool tunes at the JazzyBlu music club.

Going to Kentucky is his New Year’s resolution, and nothing is more important than finishing his goal with his wife.

Bustlier has grown to appreciate the little things in life and sheds some lights on appreciation.

“People don’t realize how fortunate they are to be in good health,” Bustlier said. “Young people need to appreciate their loved ones because tomorrow isn’t promised.”