Food, Lifestyle, Travel
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DEAR ANTHONY

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Dear Anthony,

I found out the news this morning that you passed. It was the first thing I read when I opened my eyes and it took me several minutes to process. In fact, I think I still am processing everything. It wasn’t until I started reading through all the tribute articles and social media posts that reality finally set in.

It seems like we are constantly hearing and reading about celebrity deaths, and surely it all affects you in some way. But this hit me hard. I guess like so many others, I feel like I’ve known you for years, as I’ve followed you on your journey and exploration of the world. I devoted countless days watching marathons of No Reservations and Parts Unknown. I’ve seen every episode. You brought me and so many others on your journey to seek the unknown, to embrace and respect the uniqueness of cultures, to breakdown boundaries and barriers, bringing unity to the world. You brought people together through food, and your aspiration to connect with humanity is admirable. You inspired people to travel, live life to the fullest, and to get out of their comfort zones. You weren’t afraid to go beyond the glossy surface and to get your hands dirty- to get to the nitty gritty. You were bold, raw, genuine and unapologetic. I loved watching you because it felt like there were no cameras…we were with you, sitting at the table, experiencing what you were eating, and a part of your conversation.

Aside from my obsession and love for food, you were the reason I started my food blog in 2009. You inspired me to quit my job and travel the world. You really were and will always be the deepest root of my professional inspiration. I know you inspired so many others as well.

I always get asked who would be the ONE person I could meet, dead or alive, and my answer was always you. I remember when I was in New York a few years ago, a friend of mine arranged a last -minute surprise meeting. I was across town, in sweats and no makeup, with no notice to get ready, and didn’t even know who I would be going to meet, so I didn’t end up going. Later, I found out it was you. Needless to say, I was beyond disappointed, but told myself that I would get another chance to meet you and that next time I would be prepared. I wish I went that day, even to just shake your hand and tell you what an inspiration you are to me.

I related to you on so many levels- but mostly you’re passion and genuine curiosity for food, culture and travel. Oh, and how could I forget our mutual love for In N’ Out.

You are a hero and inspiration, an epic storyteller, a cultural pioneer and talented chef- a legend who will truly be missed. The world won’t be the same without you, But legends never die, and your legacy and storytelling will live on in our hearts forever.

Thank you, Anthony.

If you or someone you know need help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Outside of the US, visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

MY FAVORITE ANTHONY BOURDAIN QUOTES:

-“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

-“Travel changes you. 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.”

“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”

“”If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”

-“I’d say, just be open. Don’t be afraid. If it’s appropriate to drink alcohol, drink heavily. Be smart, but be open to the world.”

-“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

-“Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through”. 

-Write this down: I’m a fuckin’ feminist”

4 Comments

  1. Davina says

    Loved your post. His legacy lives on through you as you inspire others. He will be missed.

  2. Leat Regwan says

    Wow. What a well written beautiful letter to Anthony. I’m sure he is with you wherever your travels take you. A real loss to the world. He will be missed.

  3. Sherwin L. says

    The culinary arts has experienced such a noble soul. Thank you for being brave sharing your thoughts Ms. Isaacs. Travel safe into the afterlife Mr. Bourdain.

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