It’s been about two weeks since Anthony Bourdain left us here on Earth to go on what we hope to be another grand adventure. Nastasia and I have both been deeply affected by the death of Anthony. On the day of his passing, the two of us texted each other in tears, thousands of miles apart, sharing just how much we have been inspired by Anthony’s leadership in travel. I’m sure many of you felt the exact pain we did – confusion, loss, grief, sadness. Today we wanted to share some words on Anthony’s passing and thank him for all that he’s contributed to the travel community.
The first time I ever watched “No Reservations” was in preparation for my first big trip abroad to Rome. His episode unfurled a world in which delicacies in food where synonymous with delicacies of the human existence. Local euphemisms, spiritualism, flavor, architecture, politics, banter, style… the episode embraced the entire atmosphere Rome truly was.
It was in that short episode that I became utterly, utterly obsessed with Anthony’s approach to experiential travel. I longed for moments like his in the Eternal City. I wanted to see the underbelly of every place on my bucket list, experience things for what they are, not what they so glamorously come off as. I wanted to be guided by locals, eat only authentically. Anthony became like a wise, old friend I could refer to when I needed insider information. I can thank him for so many life-changing moments because of his candor, his bold and blunt approach to storytelling, his adoration for showing the unseen, the un-discussed. He became a figure in my life that catapulted my passion, and I had always hoped to buy him a drink at a hole-in-the-wall bar to thank him for that.
I think many of us travelers think of Anthony this way. He opened so many viewers to unknown lands, bridged divides between the broken and misunderstood. And I think his passing shook us in ways we still can’t grasp. We never can truly understand someone’s internal struggle, even those that we consider to be the most honest, the most revered. I took Anthony’s passing as a signal to tell my friends and family, both near and far, distant and close, strong and fragile, that I loved them and appreciated them. It felt like the right thing to do that day. It takes more than a text or phone call to help those struggling, but sometimes the little things make a difference.
We thank you Anthony.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.