Remembering a Mentor Who Changed My Life, Even Though We Never Met
Although I never met Anthony Bourdain, he inspired me to expand my horizons and connect with people around the world
Many know Anthony Bourdain as a famous chef with a popular travel series, but he embodied so much more in my eyes. Bourdain was on a mission to understand the deeper meanings of humanity all around the world. He celebrated culture, human connections, and of course international cuisine. He cherished bringing people together, and a delicious meal is the perfect way to get people to sit around a table and connect.
I will never forget the first time I watched Anthony exploring Tokyo during his unfiltered episode, Tokyo After Dark. His wit, blunt candor, and his neverending fascination with different cultures was contagious. I felt like he was my long lost uncle and I felt so immediately connected and inspired to get out there and see the world too.
Two years later I found myself in Tokyo retracing his footsteps. To this day I have been to 36 countries across 6 continents; to say he was my global mentor is an understatement.
Anthony truly wanted to open up and connect with people everywhere he went. He inspires me to practice sincere human empathy every single day.
If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move. ~Anthony Bourdain
Anthony lived with undeniable authentic intention and spoke the wisest, most honest and insightful words. You know those truthful yet questionable things that we think about, but feel as though we can’t say them out loud? He said all-those-things. He still motivates me to speak up and speak the truth. We need to speak up to influence change.
Bourdain’s curiosity and enthusiasm to explore the world made a huge impact on me and so many others.
Bourdain’s edgy travel shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown showed him experiencing uncensored and unfiltered life all around the globe. Through these series, Tony gave me and so many of us the courage, motivation, and confidence to explore the world ourselves.
He was a huge inspiration for me and my husband when we decided to travel around the globe for 6 months. We were on a mission to meet people of all different cultures and gain new human perspectives, learn more about this beautiful existence called life, and realign our priorities. Those goals could have never been met without motivation from Bourdain who opened our eyes and our minds through his documented experiences.
Anthony Bourdain is a constant reminder for all of us to break out of that bubble of conformity and rotate our perspectives as often as possible. There is an entire universe of possibilities out there; we need to think bigger and beyond.
In his memory, we can’t forget about Bourdain’s long term struggle with mental illness and how his life ended.
One of the biggest reasons Bourdain is such an inspiration to me is because he dealt with so many demons that took up space in his mind for way too long. However, he still persevered and lived life to the fullest up until his last moments. As someone who has struggled with mental health at times in my life, I use Tony’s memory as a reminder to take care of my mind daily, and I strive to live on my most positive frequency.
Let his wise words live on, RIP Anthony.
As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life —and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt. ~Anthony Bourdain
Head to If The Sun Set East Blog for more reflections and stories.