Anthony Bourdain's Top Travel Tip That Still Rings True Today

Anthony Bourdain wasn't just a celebrated chef or the face of adventurous food-centric travel programs; he was a global storyteller, bringing various parts of the world into our living rooms with authenticity and grit. While he shared numerous travel tips, recipes, and stories, one simple and straightforward piece of advice stands out prominently and continues to inspire travelers across the globe: Just do it.

Bourdain's passionate appeal to "move" wasn't just about physical displacement. It was more of a philosophy — a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of travel. To move is to grow, learn, and challenge oneself. As he stated in "Parts Unknown," he championed the idea of moving "as far as you can, as much as you can." Considering he's been to over 80 countries across all seven continents, his advice is worth taking.

Many of us get trapped in the cycle of wanting and planning. We bookmark exotic places on our browsers, create dreamy Pinterest vacation boards, and find ourselves lost in the mesmerizing pictures of far-off lands on Instagram. But Bourdain nudged us to leap beyond this daydreaming phase. He wanted us to save up, muster the courage, board that plane, and experience the thrill of the unknown. He wanted us to actually do it.

Get off the couch and go

When Anthony Bourdain spoke about traveling across the ocean or merely across the river, he hinted at the idea of stepping out of one's comfort zone — whether that meant an international voyage or just exploring an unfamiliar part of one's own city. Maybe it's a one-way ticket to live remotely in Laos indefinitely or a bus ride to a nearby town for a brief explorative day trip. Both experiences have the potential to offer fresh perspectives and enrich one's understanding of different cultures and ways of life.

It's noteworthy that Bourdain emphasized the importance of not only experiencing how others live but also taking time to taste their food. For the celebrated chef, food was a gateway to understanding cultures. It was through the lens of local dishes that he often unraveled the stories, struggles, and joys of people. By urging us to "eat their food," he encouraged an intimate form of cultural immersion and exchange, fostering connections that transcend language and geography.

"The couch" Bourdain referred to symbolizes more than just a piece of furniture — it represents inertia, comfort, and the familiarity of our daily lives. While there's nothing wrong with enjoying our comfort zones, staying perpetually in them limits our worldview. Bourdain's call to "get up off the couch" was a plea to break free from self-imposed boundaries and to wholeheartedly embrace the world outside. Once that chain to the couch gets broken, even only once, it becomes that much easier to do it again and again.

Traveling beyond known borders

The world has changed since Anthony Bourdain first shared his wisdom. Travel has become both more accessible to many and also more complicated by global events. Yet, his words continue to ring true. Why? Because the essence of travel isn't just about visiting landmarks or ticking off countries from a list. It's about the human experience, understanding different narratives, and cultivating empathy.

In today's interconnected world, where misunderstandings and misconceptions can lead to unwarranted biases, Bourdain's advice is more crucial than ever. By encouraging movement, he nudged us towards building bridges and breaking walls, fostering global unity through shared experiences. Travel is one of the most direct and personal ways to achieve this. If you've seen any of Bourdain's shows like "Parts Unknown," "No Reservations," or read any of his books — you'll know firsthand, or vicariously at least, that this is accurate.

Anthony Bourdain's legacy is vast and varied, but his belief in the power of movement stands as one of his most enduring messages. Today, as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of global tourism, Bourdain's words serve as a compass, guiding us toward meaningful journeys and authentic experiences. As you contemplate your next adventure – whether it's trying a new local restaurant or riding the waves on horseback at Montego Bay – remember his golden advice: Open your mind, embrace the unknown, and just do it.