Two days ago, we learned of the passing of our travel mentor and the vibe king, Anthony Bourdain. We dubbed him the king of vibe, because he had the uncanny ability to connect to the heartbeat of people and places. We didn’t personally know Anthony Bourdain, but felt like we did. His death so saddened us. We don’t know what sadness gripped him, but we do know that he found great joy in picking up on the emotional atmosphere, the vibe, of the places he took his audiences to in, Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown How do we know of his joy … because you just can’t fake that twinkle in his eye and spontaneous laugh.
Our friend, Darryl, came over last weekend and we sat outside on the deck talking about travel, food and wine. We compared notes on our recent favourite Anthony Bourdain episodes. Darryl’s most recent favourite was “Uruguay”. Luckily we have Anthony Bourdain PVR’ed, so the next evening we followed Darryl’s advice and watched Anthony Bourdain reflect on Uruguay’s politics, food, culture. He talked to people and listened so he could find out how Uruguayans felt about their country. This was a recent 2018 episode … were there clues in this show about his inner demons and his impending sad end? In hindsight, probably some small signs, yet as we watched, we had no idea that he had so few days left in the world he so enjoyed exploring.
As avid travelers, watching Anthony Bourdain was one of our ways of absorbing cultures. He taught us to explore the food of the locals (even if it sometimes resulted in a little more time on the toilet). He taught us to not only visit the shiny tourist attraction, but to also get off the main roads and absorb the vibe. On our recent trip to Peru we walked with the locals to their fiesta and ate street food when we got there. Thank you Anthony Bourdain for leading us to this experience.
We have 22 additional episodes of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown PVR’ed spanning the shows from 2013 to 2018– Quebec, Detroit, Thailand, Korea, Hanoi, Newfoundland and so many more… so we don’t have to say goodbye yet. Anthony Bourdain, you were a rebel and we enjoyed that so much. Thank you for your teachings, for your laugh, for that twinkle.