Many of us have been inspired in one way or another by this raw, edgy, quirky travel host we call Anthony Bourdain. It all began when I started religiously watching his show No Reservations that I felt the need to step out of my comfort zone and travel. Growing up in NYC seems glamorous but when you spend your whole life there, you begin to take things for granted and realize that it can be great and boring all at the same time. You must wonder how could that be? The glitz, the glamour, the constant vicious cycle of restaurants opening and closing, new things to do and constant flow of new people coming and going. It couldn’t possibly get tiring, right? New York is vibrant, energetic and competitive, and when you’re young and hungry, it’s the absolute place to be but limited in what it can offer in the long run. How many Bryant Park summer film festivals can you attend before you get bored? Heading to the Governor’s Ball seemed fun the first time but the second time was just blah. Oh yes, I love Central Park and spend my summers reading in the park, but I think I’ve covered every inch of the Park.
After spending a few years working in the corporate world and watching No Reservations and Globe Trekker, I felt the courage to get out of my comfort zone and leave New York City. Venture off into a foreign country that I never visited but watched endless episodes of how amazing it was. Australia was always on the top of my bucket list and I knew that I had to move somewhere on that side of the world to be close to it. With the financial crisis in loom in 2008, 2010 seemed like the perfect time to part from NYC and to explore the rest of the world.
Living abroad has its ups and downs and there were many times when I felt alone in my travels and alone in a new foreign place, but Anthony Bourdain gave me the courage to continue and to not call it quits and return home. I even purchased a VPN just to continue watching his show and baseball because who doesn’t love the Yankees? Spending two years in Asia allowed me to see that side of the world and live in a new dynamic place where I met the most amazing people and learned how to grow as an individual. What I loved about his shows, was that he had this raw, edginess character and never cared about how he looked onscreen or perceived by others. His sole goal was to introduce us to places far and away and the beauty of the locals despite their religion, ethnicity or status. Of course, we all felt that there was a sense of melancholy in his life that peaked out here and there during each episode but it was what made him real and relatable and that despite being so successful, we can be unhappy and depressed and sad at times. It’s what makes us human.
Reading Kitchen Confidential helped me to understand a bit more of where his melancholy came from and honestly it’s no joke to work in NYC no matter what your profession is. The book helped me tackle my own insecurities and to realize that working hard and making tons of money isn’t enough to compensate for the emptiness you feel after you purchase material things. The constant struggle of living in a competitive environments does take its toll on you and coupled with some bad luck can have devastating and life lasting results. Luckily, I have never let my one day “depression” get the best of me but I do remember that when you’re in that funk, there is not one thing or one person that can help you get out of it. Only you and you alone can help yourself get out of the funk. We may never know the real reasons as to why Anthony left this world but we can learn from him and be proud of his many contributions and courage that he’s given to us.
Thank you Anthony for being my inspiration to travel, to blog, and to be open-minded. Just know that you helped us grow and adapt and that we will always remember you for who you are because you are you.