“In my world view, food certainly plays a role hopefully in bringing some kind of enlightenment and understanding, openness and appreciation of other cultures.”

Anthony Bourdain

Like so many people across the globe, Anthony Bourdain’s death has left me numb. Anthony was a true global citizen who touched many people across countless cultures. He showed his viewers how humanity is connected through the love and necessity of food. The flavors of the world made Anthony feel most alive, and he inspired me when I traveled vicariously through his palate. I idolized and tried to emulate him at World Footprints because of our shared view of the world.

Anthony unknowingly mentored Ian and I as we curated content for our World Footprints podcast. We appreciated Anthony’s dedication to bridging cultural gaps and how he made us examine our own beliefs when he challenged his preconceptions about other cultures. He also taught us that our “niche” audience of socially minded travelers was not as small as we thought. Anthony’s CNN show Parts Unknown, inspired us to attempt to have the same impact and to reach the hearts of people through our audio stories and articles.

We have interviewed dozens of wonderful individuals on World Footprints including Travel Channel host and fellow foodie, Andrew Zimmern. Sadly, we missed an opportunity to share Anthony’s voice. But the impact he has had will live on as we continue to explore the world.

One of my Facebook followers referred to Anthony as a family member. Indeed, through his programs, we have invited him into our homes to break bread. So saying goodbye is painful. But, at least, for a little while longer, we will have a few more shows from this current season of Parts Unknown.

There are a few, impactful universal “languages” that bind us together—a smile, music and food. Anthony shared all of those gifts with us. Sadly we will never know what other meals he would have had and the stories that would have accompanied them. I will miss his beautiful light. R.I.P. dear Anthony Bourdain

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Depression is a very real condition. Nearly 7% of the adult population in the United States are affected by depression, but no one has to suffer in silence.  There are many resources available that offer confidential help including this 3-minute Depression Assessment that we found online.

There are also lifelines available to those who feel the weight of their depression is too heavy. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE allow your beautiful light to keep shining and ask for help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline banner and number

Anthony Bourdain cover photo is courtesy of The Peabody Awards via Wikimedia Commons.