Anthony Bourdain Quotes That Will Inspire You To Travel More, Eat Better & Enjoy Life

Anthony Bourdain Quotes

There would hardly be any traveler (and foodie!) who hasn’t heard about Anthony Bourdain and not followed his famous show – ‘Parts Unknown’. Needless to say, we’ve been highly influenced by this man and his journeys. His thirst for the weird, crazy, and unusual inspired many to explore outside their own comforts.

The charismatic and silver-tongued chef and adventurer broke borders and brought new cultures into living rooms across nations, a gift that we may never truly appreciate. Back in 1999, in an article on The New Yorker, Bourdain spilled the beans and tickled the nerves of readers across the world, saying – “Good food, good eating, is all about blood and organs, cruelty and decay. It’s about sodium-loaded pork fat, stinky triple-cream cheeses, the tender thymus glands, and distended livers of young animals. It’s about danger – risking the dark, bacterial forces of beef, chicken, cheese, and shellfish.”

May his words continue to inspire, ignite, and challenge us to embrace the unknown. Here are some of our favorite Anthony Bourdain quotes that we live by, and we’re sure that you’d also relate to them.

1. “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on the floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”

2. “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.”

3. “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.”

4. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

5. “It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.”

6. “It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and what’s happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there — with your eyes open — and lived to see it.”

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7. “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?”

8. “I wanted adventures. I wanted to go up the Nung river to the heart of darkness in Cambodia. I wanted to ride out into a desert on camelback, sand, and dunes in every direction, eat whole roasted lamb with my fingers. I wanted to kick snow off my boots in a Mafiya nightclub in Russia. I wanted to play with automatic weapons in Phnom Penh, recapture the past in a small oyster village in France, step into a seedy neon-lit pulqueria in rural Mexico. I wanted to run roadblocks in the middle of the night, blowing past angry militia with a handful of hurled Marlboro packs, experience fear, excitement, wonder. I wanted kicks – the kind of melodramatic thrills and chills I’d yearned for since childhood, the kind of adventure I’d found as a little boy in the pages of my Tintin comic books. I wanted to see the world – and I wanted the world to be just like the movies.”

9. “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”

10. “Plans should be ephemeral, so be prepared to move away from them.”

11. “Nothing unexpected or wonderful is likely to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.”

12. “I think food, culture, people, and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.”

13. “The mishandling of food and equipment with panache was always admired; to some extent, this remains true to this day.”

14. “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”

15. “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”

16. “Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occurs in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.”

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17. “The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about – or as a ritual like filling up a car – but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon.”

18. “Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.”

19. “For me, the cooking life has been a long love affair, with moments both sublime and ridiculous.”

20. “You have to be romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

21. “Perhaps wisdom. . . is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

22. “The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”

23. “People are generally proud of their food. A willingness to eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice… they open up to you in ways that somebody visiting who is driven by a story may not get.”

24. “Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through.”

25. “Everybody should come here. Everyone should see how complicated, how deeply troubled, and yet at the same time, beautiful and awesome the world can be. Everyone should experience, even as the clouds gather, what’s at stake, what could be lost, what’s still here.”

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26. “Food had power. It could inspire, astonish, shock, excite, delight, and impress. It had the power to please me . . . and others.”

27. “To be treated well in places where you don’t expect to be treated well, to find things in common with people you thought previously you had very, very little in common with, that can’t be a bad thing.”

28. “[When I die], I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted, and advantages squandered.”

29. “It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Bourdain was never to be found in one place for long enough…he was constantly exploring and sharing his revelries with the world, teaching us more about life, food, and happiness. If you still haven’t watched this man talking about his adventures, maybe you should just binge-watch ‘Parts Unknown’! What’s your favorite Anthony Bourdain quote?

Quotes to inspire

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