Take It From Anthony Bourdain: Don't Let These Two Things Deter You From Your Next Big Adventure

There was no one like Anthony Bourdain when it came to traveling. After all, Tony — as he was affectionately called by friends and fans —traveled the world not just to visit places but to actually immerse himself in different cultures. From basking in the local flavors and traditions to forming deep connections with the people he met along the way, Bourdain became a storyteller for the lesser-voiced narratives of the hundreds of destinations he explored.

At the end of the day, Bourdain was more than just a visitor — he was an eagle-eyed observer. He was someone who appreciated the nuances of diverse cultures and found stories of hope, resilience, and joy even in the darkest corners of the globe.

That's why Bourdain's travel tips still resonate profoundly with seasoned and novice travelers alike. They're meant to inspire, not shame. One of his most salient pieces of advice? Don't let safety and cleanliness stop you from diving deep into the vibrant, pulsating heart of where you're traveling. By worrying too much about being clean, comfortable, and safe in the conventional sense, you're getting in the way of the core essence of travel: experiencing new, exciting, and — sometimes — raw adventures.

Finding comfort in discomfort

When it comes to being a traveler (not a tourist), the main goal is usually to try and accumulate experiences. This is what ultimately enriches your understanding and perspective of the world. However, according to Bourdain, some people's concern for excessive cleanliness can get in the way of this adventure — hindering the spontaneity and excitement that come along with unplanned moments.

For Bourdain, travel was all about embracing the unknown with open arms — his award-winning TV program wasn't titled "Parts Unknown" just for show. Through his lens, Tony shared a world rich with undiscovered paths while encouraging viewers to step out of their comfort zones in the best ways possible.

Whether that means tucking into a dimly-lit restaurant for the best meal you've ever had, joining a group of rowdy locals for a night out on the town, or hearing stories of days past from an elder who's eager to share the traditions of their home is entirely up to you. Just make sure you're ready for things to get a touch dirty, a little ugly, and for you to feel a bit uncomfortable.

More of Bourdain's travel mantras

There's no doubt that Bourdain had a unique approach to travel. From his suggestion that everyone should avoid eating airplane food to arrive at their destination hungry to his tried-and-tested advice of following the locals to find the best places to eat, it's safe to say that Bourdain had tips, advice, and insider knowledge for pretty much everything travel related. Whether he talked about dining, partying, sleeping, getting around, or just being kind, his words carried weight — and they'll continue to do so.

For example, in terms of traveling like a pro — and building on a foundation of immersion — Bourdain also recommended staying in the heart of the action. The famous chef even admitted that a hotel in the center of the city was the first thing he would book when traveling. His reasoning was that choosing a central accommodation meant everything was within walking distance and he could explore by foot — two things that allowed him to be close to the pulse and vibrancy of local life.

Today, five years after his untimely passing, Bourdain's travel advice lives on as a reminder to keep an open mind, favor the spontaneous over the planned, and embrace the unforeseen — all of which can transform any trip into an adventure. And if you don't take it from us, take it directly from Tony himself: "Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown."