Anthony Bourdain’s new book ‘World Travel’ is inspiring our post-pandemic trips
Fans get another book from the late travel writer and television star Anthony Bourdain. Photo: Brendan Corr
Almost 22 years after Anthony Bourdain’s bestselling memoir “Kitchen Confidential” was published, fans receive another book from the late travel writer and television star. One concept that Bourdain began working on in 2018, World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, was finalized by co-author and longtime assistant Laurie Woolever and will be released on April 20th.
The book is filled with travel logistics, restaurant recommendations, Bourdain observations, personal essays from family members and colleagues, and illustrations by artist Wesley Allsbrook. It’s both a literal guide to seeing the world and a source of inspiration as we plan after planning. Pandemic Travel.
We swam in very quotable mantras to live, and gathered our favorites from the book to channel when you’re back on the road.
– ‘Have some wine, walk around a little more, eat and repeat. See? It’s easy.’
In the France chapter of World Travel, Bourdain instructs those lucky enough to visit Paris to do as little as possible. Going through consecutive activities like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame in a day will leave you exhausted and overwhelmed.
“The most important thing to do when you get to Paris is to stop,” said Bourdain.
Don’t wrap your itinerary with the highlights of a destination unless you want to miss out on its magic. Instead, make yourself comfortable and enjoy a new place. Take a seat in a sidewalk café, at the end of a pub, on a city park bench and enjoy it all.
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– ‘This is one of those scenes where you get the feeling of slack and touristy spirit – in a good way.’
While enjoying off the beaten path, Bourdain was also able to enjoy more classic tourist experiences, as evidenced by this quote, which recalls his time at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
He celebrated places where tourists flock but still endure, from Katz’s delicacies in New York to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Throughout the book, he also advocated visiting places that TV hosts and ordinary people appreciate, such as museums, bookstores, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and nature reserves.
– ‘Yes, the future is here. But the past is everywhere too. ‘
In the quote above, Bourdain was talking about Cuba. However, it is a feeling that can be applied anywhere. He advises people visiting Havana: “If you can, you should come here with your eyes open and see.” Get to know a place it’s going and where it’s coming from.
Yes, Bourdain would take a poetic look at a destination’s cuisine and bar culture, as well as bohemian landmarks, but Woolever stated that he also read about a place’s history and literature before visiting to put things into context.
– “As soon as you let your senses guide you, you will possibly enjoy many things that you would normally overlook.”
Also from the Paris part of the book comes this piece of Bourdain wisdom that captures the idea of enjoying a new place without assumptions, even after you have familiarized yourself with its history and culture. When you travel again, go in openly and see where one place can take you.
And if you start with preconceptions, don’t be afraid to question your opinion. On “World Travel” Bourdain admits to having changed his mind and benefiting from it, for example when he went to Los Angeles with a New York attitude – and eventually admitted that he loved the place.
– “So many of the good times going through this world are directly related to finding a human face associated with your destination, the food you eat, and the memories you will keep forever can be.”
The South Korea chapter of the book begins with this thank you message for Nari Kye, a woman who worked with Bourdain and his team while working on “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown” in her home country. It’s proof of how important people can be as part of your travel experience.
In an age of mask-wearing and social distancing, speaking to strangers may be inconceivable, but getting to know locals – once the coronavirus is no longer a threat to you or them – is an integral part of traveling like Bourdain.
The Washington Post
See also: There is no such thing as perfect food, but it is as close as it gets
See also: How Anthony Bourdain Changed the Way I Travel
Natalie B. Compton
March 22, 2021