If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel — as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.
I am not someone that usually mourns the deaths of those I have not met. But hearing the news of Anthony Bourdain's death shook me in a way I did not expect. As I read the tributes and news articles, I couldn't help but feel like I had lost a mentor.
Like many people, I grew up watching his CNN shows exploring various parts the world - unknown, underrated, trendy, or otherwise. In a time before the boom of smart phones and social media, he was a guest in my house, A friend in our living room, teaching us not to be afraid of what we don't know.
But I don't want to spend a lot of time mourning him - I don't think that's what he would have wanted. I think he would have told us all to have good food and drink with those we hold dear and keep exploring the world. And as I thought about that this morning it baffled me that I felt as if I knew such an intimate detail about someone I had never met.
Bourdain shared his perspective and opinions with candor and prolificness that made people feel like they could call him a friend, even at a distance. His social media accounts were full of behind the scenes footage sharing the stories of those he worked with. I cannot think of a single person that did not talk, post, tweet, share about their grief in the wake of this tragedy.
He was and is a great unifier. And while that says many great things about him and the legacy he leaves behind, I'd like people to think about this as well - while he is a shared connection for many, Anthony Bourdain is not what we have in common. What we share are the values he lived by.
Embracing new experiences
Seeking out the unfamiliar
Creating memories with friends, old and new
Eating damn good food
These values are the foundations for building bridges, making friends, understanding different world views.
So as we all come to terms with this loss, remember that you share these values with millions of other people. Be honest but be kind. Do no harm, but take no shit. It's what he would've wanted.