These Anthony Bourdain Quotes That Will Inspire You to Travel More, Eat Better, and Enjoy Life

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Anthony Bourdain standing in front of a fence: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

I have a printed out copy of Anthony Bourdain’s first New Yorker article, Don’t Eat Before Reading This, in my desk drawer. Sometimes I forget it’s there, and sometimes it gets crushed by external hard drives, travel brochures, or extraneous chords. But every so often, when I’m sick of working, I’ll clean out my desk and start reading the crumpled pages. And almost instantly, I am thrown by the way Bourdain sculpts sentences, by his matter-of-fact humor, and by how timeless his words are. Bourdain’s work hooks me instantly, and offers answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Much of Anthony Bourdain’s writing advocates for experiencing culture through food, and exploring the lesser-known sights of new cities. And those ideas have helped informed how I travel.

Whether you’re a fan of his written work and are searching for “Kitchen Confidential” quotes, or you’re more partial to watching Parts Unknown, there’s a piece of his wisdom to suit every appetite. These Anthony Bourdain quotes about life will broaden your travel horizons and inspire you on your next journey.

Anthony Bourdain Travel Quotes

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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 floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”

“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. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”

“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.”

“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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