Anthony Bourdain -- chef, author, world traveler, and television star -- first landed on my radar screen in 2005, when his television series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations began its seven-year run on the Travel Channel. I was intrigued by Bourdain's unique approach to documenting his travels -- primarily focused on local food and drink, but digging deeply into people, culture, and current events. The mix was an intoxicating one for me, and I became an instant fan.

Like the rest of the world, I was shocked and tremendously saddened when he was found dead in his hotel room in France in June 2018. I for one miss Anthony Bourdain, but am grateful to have so many episodes of his shows (he moved from the Travel Channel to CNN in 2013) available to watch anytime I want.

Here's a selection of some of Anthony Bourdain's timeless wisdom, seasoned by a life of travel, joy, and not a few hard knocks. 

1. "To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living."

2. "Under 'Reasons for Leaving Last Job,' never give the real reason, unless it's money or ambition."

3. "Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."

4. "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. Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody."

5. "Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don't have."

6. "Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown."

7. "Assume the worst about everybody. But don't let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back, ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious, and a corrupt asshole shouldn't prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them, or finding them entertaining."

8. "I don't have to agree with you to like you or respect you."

9. "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. Most of the time, those marks -- on your body or on your heart -- are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt."

10. "You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together."

11. "Don't lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don't do it again. Ever."

12. "Basic cooking skills are a virtue... the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill. [It's] as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one's own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money."

13. "Luck is not a business model."

14. "When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out."

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

16. "Maybe that's enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom...is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go."

17. "Without new ideas, success can become stale."

Published on: Jul 22, 2018
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