It’s taken me longer than I would like to compile this post, but it seems like no amount of words, even the right words, can accurately portray how I’m feeling this weekend. I almost hate that this is my first post in awhile, but at the same time it almost feels fitting that Anthony Bourdain, my traveling, writing, eating inspiration, would be the one to get me writing again.
I woke up Friday morning, June 8, and was doing my usual social media perusal to catch up on overnight happenings before getting up and getting ready for the day. I scrolled once and then gasped loudly enough that it woke my fiance up. Anthony Bourdain had been found dead in Paris, death by apparent suicide. Only two other celebrity deaths have ever rocked me to my core: Robin Williams and Alan Rickman. I’ll admit that I cried for them. I cried for Anthony Bourdain – the tears didn’t come immediately but they came as the day progressed.
When I was in college, I would often fall asleep with my TV on the travel channel and then wake up in the middle of the night to an episode of Bourdain’s show “No Reservations.” It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of food shows, so it would almost be assumed that I would love “No Reservations.” But it wasn’t the food that intrigued me on “No Reservations.” It was the people he talked to and the cultures he explored that sucked me in. I credit that show, along with my intercultural communication class, for piquing my interest in different cultures and fueling my desire to travel and see more. Now I’m watching “Parts Unknown” for inspiration for my blog and my bucket list and it’s hard to fathom that he’s no longer here.
Someone on Twitter mused that Bourdain was one of the few people that had a show that actively tried to encourage us as Americans not to be afraid of other people. His shows were all about going off the beaten path, getting to know people, and treating people and their cultures with care, respect, and compassion. I may never have a TV show or a following like Bourdain did, but I hope that I travel the same way he did – with care, respect, and compassion for the places that I go. Rest easy, Anthony Bourdain. I’ll try my best to honor your memory by eating good food, traveling, and learning something while doing it.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”