There is more to write about the cultural importance of Anthony Bourdain than I can currently articulate.
Since his suicide just days ago, I’ve read remembrances and recollections that further colored in the man’s humanity. Many expressed better than I can his humble and humane approach to people, to food, and to places.
I need to have my say, though, and it is this:
As I’ve written elsewhere in my blog, I’m not what I’d define as a traveler. I’ve known many who seem to have that naturally-sourced wandering spirit that drives them to learn languages and to spend whatever resources they have at their disposal to visit the next place.
It has only been in recent years that a thirst for getting myself out into the world—to open myself to the experience of travel—has corresponded with my taking a job that requires me to weekly deal with the hassles and joys of being on the road.
Perhaps I’m too easily letting myself off the hook, but I doubt I would have appreciated roaming around had I done it more in my younger years.
Watching Bourdain’s various travel shows, reading his books, absorbing his simple yet profound message that sharing a meal with others is the nexus of culture: it’s where high meets low, where rich meets poor, where artisanal meets DIY. Slowly absorbing this message has opened for me a more expansive, and frankly, a far better world.
We are more than the sum of our appetites, but it is through accepting, voicing and experiencing those hunger pangs—together—that we share what it means to be human.
Let’s follow Bourdain’s example and travel far or wander close and take our place at the table.