Leave marks and seek them - an ode to Anthony Bourdain.
Depression took the life of someone I admired, loved. Someone who gave me life changing experiences through his appetite for the unfiltered, honest world. This person I never met. Who am I to think I have the right to feel so devastated when this person did not know I existed? When he has a family - a daughter who he loved. A mother who encouraged him to do something brave at 44 that ultimately changed his life within 2 days. A fierce, strong partner who is a role model for women around the world. Regardless of who has the right to feel, yesterday our world lost a friend, Anthony Bourdain.
Sharing food with people is one of the most important things in my life, and Anthony Bourdain changed the way I viewed this sacred ritual. His poetic and whip smart take on the weirdness of life coupled with a non-judgemental outlook inspired me to accept the world as it is. To be courageous and step out to explore other cultures with an open heart and mind.
He showed the world the power of family, tradition, eating and history in all corners of the world, viewing everyone as humans first and part of a culture second. He had a spectacular way of making everyone he interacted with feel like a friend through an intimate honesty and to speak his truth at all times. I felt like I knew him personally. Many did.
I admired his view of the world and took inspiration from him in the way I ate, the way I traveled. Recently traveling Vietnam, I followed in this great mans footsteps. I sought out the best Bahn Mi in Vietnam according to this cultural legend and although the stall looked dinky with a high chance of food poisoning, I thought of him and sunk my teeth in.
The Vietnamese baguette was crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, with the structural integrity to hold delicious morsels of barbecued pork, homemade pate and sliced unknown meats with a savoury tang. Through his curiosity and open mind he showed people rich experiences.
He would not want the people who loved him to step back - to stay within country lines. To stop exploring the way other people live. For Anthony Bourdain, I will go one step further off the well traveled path. Every time I travel I'll choose experiences that are more challenging and authentic than I would before he was in my atmosphere.
"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 and heart - are beautiful. Often though, they hurt."
Anthony Bourdain left gaping gashes on this earth - evident in the outpour of stories about this world class storyteller and good person. There are marks on my heart left by Anthony Bourdain. His humility, his openness, insistence to speak the truth and using his privilege to shine light on those who did not have it will be immortalised. His appetite for good in this world will always be remembered.
For him I shall leave marks, and seek them.