A few years ago, before Danielle and I moved abroad, we would sit in our home in Florida DREAMINGGG of moving to Europe as we eagerly waited for a foreign company to give us a job offer from the dozens of job applications we submitted across Europe. We would frequently discuss what cities we’d love to move to even though we already had the same conversation dozens of time before. These discussions served as a temporary and blissful moment in time where Danielle and I were mentally transported to a completely new country, culture, and lifestyle. They kept our hopes of moving abroad alive and made our desire to move to Europe even stronger.
As part of our daily dose of maintaining this bliss, we would also watch Anthony Bourdain’s television series “No Reservations” and be inspired and motivated in ways that, for us, no other television series has done before.
Bourdain’s truly genuine curiosity and captivating ways of integrating with locals always left us, not only mesmerized but, inspired and motivated to travel. He taught me to travel with the purpose of understanding local culture and society, stepping out of my comfort zone, and finding hidden streets or entering the tiniest mom-and-pop restaurants.
The countless stories of locals opening up their homes to Anthony Bourdain left me in true awe of the incredible kindness of so many people around the world. I was simply amazed by how a complete strangers would invite another stranger into their home, prepare him a full dinner, and simply treat him as one of their own.
I wanted to experience that! That, exactly that!
When each hour long episode was over, Danielle and I would often share our thoughts about the episode like two kids after seeing their favorite superhero in person.
Once we finally landed a job abroad, we didn’t stop watching Anthony Bourdain.
I remember before we visited Istanbul for the very first time we watched his Istanbul episode on his “No Reservations” series – I swear we probably watched it at least three times before our trip. We were so excited to go to Turkey and we wanted to know of some really good local spots before heading there.
One of the places Anthony Bourdain visited was a small restaurant called Dürümzade (how I WISH we had our YouTube channel back then because Istanbul and this restaurant was such a unique and wonderful experience!).
One of the best meals of our travels
While at Dürümzade, we ordered our meals, which in Bourdain’s words were
“absolutely f***g delicious!”
and I told Danielle, “Anthony Bourdain sat right there! Can you believe it?!” We discussed how kind the staff was and I mentioned something along the likes of being happy that in the episode it appears that they treated him as kind as they treated us. I never even met the man yet somehow I was concerned with whether or not people treat him well! Do I sound crazy yet???
Something tells me that I felt this way because he was someone who simply treated others with kindness and respect and he deserved that in return.
When we were done with our dinner…
|Danielle snapped of this photo of me in front of the restaurant.|
I will never ever
forget this moment.
Thank you, Anthony Bourdain, for the countless stories, adventures, and life lessons that you’ve shared with us all. Your stories weren’t just about food and travel – they were about the way in which various aspects of different cultures around the world bring us closer together no matter how different they may be from one another. Through your journeys, you’ve taught so many of us how to be a little less afraid of the unknown.
You may no longer be with us but your legacy will live on deep in the hearts of the millions of people around the world that you’ve inspired through all these years.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please do not hesitate to contact your local suicide prevention hotline. A list of hotlines around the world can be found here.