After the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain earlier this year, I’ve found myself returning to his shows and writing. One of my favorite episodes of “Parts Unknown” is his visit to Hanoi, Vietnam. Watching him gleefully bend his tall frame onto plastic stools to enjoy roadside meals was a lesson in the value in immersing yourself in the world around you. The most famous part of that episode, of course, is his meal with President Barack Obama. As they talked about the importance of experiencing other cultures, Bourdain, as he did so often, distilled the point down to a very simple, yet obvious, sentence.
“The extent to which you can see how other people live seems useful at worst and incredibly pleasurable and interesting at best.”
I can honestly say that Sarah and I are forever changed by this extended period of observing how so many other people live. What’s more, if you ask either of us, I think we’d both tell you we wish we could have visited even more places. By no means are we finished exploring, though. I hope we’ll be traveling and experiencing the commonality of the human experience for the rest of our lives.
In the meantime, we’re both excited to reacquaint ourselves with the diversity and culture of Southern California.