Travel can change your life. By immersing yourself in any destination, you can become intimately acquainted with the nuances and ways of life of another culture. Sightseeing, exploring, participating in local festivals, and indulging in traditional cuisine expands one’s view of the world. It is a worthwhile investment that does not need to feel like a risk thanks to the availability of travel insurance.
Take inspiration from the recently passed Anthony Bourdain, who traveled the world without reservations. Bourdain encouraged travelers to leave their comfort zones and get to know even the grittiest parts of world. Inspired by some of Anthony Bourdain’s most memorable travel explorations, the following are ideas for immersive travel experiences around the globe.
San Sebastian, Spain
Situated along the coast of the sprawling green hills of the Basque Country, San Sebastian was one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite destinations. During the time of the Spanish Armada, this port city was the epicenter of European ship construction, and has developed into what Bourdain regarded as one of the most refined places for enjoying European cuisine. By fusing both traditional Spanish and French techniques, in addition to having access to plenty of fresh seafood, visitors can experience the most elevated forms of Spanish cuisine. Bourdain praised San Sebastian for its rustic exterior as well as its sophisticated culture and active night life.
Tangier, Morroco, just a short trip from Spain’s southern coast, remains a highly regarded travel destination on Bourdain’s list. The city still displays its Middle-Eastern legacy as an area formerly occupied by the Moors. Bourdain claimed that the city encourages visitors to explore and admire its exotic backbone. Tangier’s intriguing history of secrets and espionage only enhances its sweet, savory, and spicy culinary offerings. In addition to its cuisine, Tangier can be appreciated for its outdoor markets and free-spirited colony of American expats.
One of the characteristics that made Tokyo, Japan such an enjoyable destination for Bourdain was its deep appreciation of tradition. While the offerings of the city rival that of any other in the world, Tokyo also manages to fuse traditional eastern values with an accelerated western lifestyle. Tokyo’s meticulous cuisine features plenty of fresh soba and mouthwatering seafood. However, many chefs are trained in international techniques and are beginning to cater their culinary skills to meet the demands of a gastropub-seeking younger generation. Tokyo fascinated Bourdain for its reverence of the martial arts, especially Kendo and Kyokushin. Beneath the neon glow of the city, Tokyo’s ever-changing alternative subgroups and punk-rock scene also continue to fascinate visitors.
Bourdain found Shanghai, China to be one of the most rapidly evolving places on earth. In recent years, Shanghai has demonstrated monumental growth and change, and is one of China’s main metropolitan centers for international business and affairs. Despite China’s communist government, Bourdain claimed that Shanghai is a rival to New York and presents itself as one of the most materialistic and money-oriented places he visited. This colorful city never sleeps, immersing its visitors in a burgeoning culinary scene, an active nightlife, and modern architectural splendor.
These are just four of the great Anthony Bourdain’s favorite destinations for immersive travel experiences, all of which are shown on his television series, Parts Unknown. Take inspiration from Bourdain’s desire to constantly explore, appreciate other cultures, and seek authentic interactions with locals. Find an exotic destination, make room in your calendar, compare and purchase travel insurance, and get out and explore the world.