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One of the Greats

A meal Bourdain would approve of, in a market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Anthony Bourdain was brash, brutally honest, and extravagantly potty-mouthed. But he was also a good man, and a great traveler.

Although his tv shows were ostensibly about food, I’d argue that his greatest contribution was in the realm of travel. He was one of the few people on television who actively tried to make Americans less afraid of the world. He showed us the humanity in everyone, in every country. He respected and embraced other cultures. He inspired us to go places we had never considered going, encouraged us to try things that were completely foreign – and in the process discover they weren’t so “foreign” after all. He gave us courage. He pushed us to get out of our comfort zones. He showed us how to eat chicken feet.

He understood the impact travel can have on a person’s life. “Travel is not a reward for working, it’s education for living,” he said.

He was the kind of adventurer I aspire to be.

If you want a role model for your travels, I recommend the Bourdain model: open, accepting, compassionate, curious, fearless. Cursing is optional.

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