Keep on Traveling Tony
Those first few moments you find out a family member or a close friend have passed away are initially shocking and then filled with grief. This morning when Jeremy broke the news to me of Anthony Bourdain's passing he delivered it in a way that you would have thought a good friend had died, and one had. Anthony Bourdain is/was the biggest travel influence in our lives and the person that pushed us to follow our dreams.
People often ask if there was a certain moment we decided we wanted to make our dream a reality and travel the world. We were sitting on the couch watching No Reservations and decided then and there we didn’t just want to see these places on TV, we wanted to actually live them. The next day I opened up a separate savings account and every month started putting money in towards our epic trip.
Over the course of many years we’ve seen about every episode of No Reservations, The Layover and Parts Unknown. And over the course of six months we followed in Anthony’s footsteps to the best bahn mi spot in Hoi An Vietnam through the killing fields of Cambodia and up and down the escalators of Hong Kong. Throughout our trip(s) Anthony seemed to always be there to guide us, the best restaurants, the hidden gems, the unique out of the way spots to explore and he gave us the background so we what we were actually experiencing.
I admired Anthony as more than just a traveler, but also as a journalist. He was one of the most gifted storytellers in the world and he only got better over time. He put so much effort into his show, the production, the cinematography, the music, every episode was a mini documentary curated by him and his team. By sharing a meal, he had a way of getting people to speak candidly about the political commentary or unrest in their country. He was the perfect amount of curious and caring, he never thought he was better than anyone else.
In fact, he was so good that there are just some days when I’m unable to watch Parts Unknown. It ignites my wanderlust so strongly that I feel like my heart is about to be pulled out of my chest.
When we returned from our trip we made a deal with ourselves that travel would always be a priority in our lives. We didn’t close that savings account we opened before our trip, in fact each month we still put a little something in it for our future travels big and small. I am most happy when I’ve either got a trip to plan, big or small, or when I’m traveling and exploring a new place. Anthony taught me that wealth isn’t gained from money or material things, but from memories and experiences.
Even though we had never met in person, I looked forward to watching his Instagram story each day to see where in the world he was and what music he had paired with his video commentary. I somehow felt like we really knew each other. Occasionally I would fantasize about what we would talk about if we met in person and how much I wanted to thank him for inspiring us to live our dream. We really couldn’t have done it without him.
We will miss you buddy, RIP. Keep on traveling...
How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.