“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals of one’s life” – Anthony Bourdain
How much do we learn about a place when we travel there? How truly do we know and understand it’s culture, society, and people? These are questions I struggle with. I have been to Singapore multiple times, and from the twitter accounts I follow, I’m still completely baffled. I feel like in my failing Western eyes, that they will never comprehend this place, never understand what they have seen over the years, but yet, they compel me to return in my attempts.
So much has changed. I am not the same person I was, nor is Singapore the same place. We have both aged, grown, moved on in our existence. Will this still be the same place I fell in love with. Will its food still steal my desires with its allure? I wonder if I’m struggling to recreate experiences which cannot be duplicated.
A large part of this trip is owed, and in honor of, my muse; Anthony Bourdain. His passing was not just a loss to the food world, nor a loss to the TV world, but a loss to those that are interested in opening the eyes of our perception to the world. Anthony’s death has affected me personally. I very much modeled my travel approach after his: Get lost, drink a lot, and immerse yourself in the experience. Tell stories through the medium of food. Someone who did what I long to do for life, how could he be unhappy? And yet, I can see how the demons attack. I have my own, as I’m sure he had his.
So how do I bereave that, how do I honor it? I’d like to think…..go. Do what you love, go where you love, experience things you love with those that are important to you. I don’t have a specific agenda for this trip, nor do I want one. But I want to go and experience a place that I love with a child-like vision. Renewed in the fact that I’m on a trip to live life. And that is what is most important, and what I think Anthony tried to communicate most. Regardless of your wealth, status, or background, you should go. Experience the unfamiliar, travel, share experiences, and connect with those around you in the world. Because in doing so, you tell the story of others.