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Anthony Bourdain on the most “underrated” travel destination

by Staff

The late Anthony Bourdain had a life that many of us dream of. While he would come to abhor his globetrotting existence and being constantly on the move, his storied ventures into parts of the world that people wouldn’t typically think to visit remain some of the most enlightening ever broadcast.

Whether it be No Reservations, The Layover, or the highly mythologised Parts Unknown, the candour and authenticity with which the New Yorker brought his programmes to life pierced the cultural fabric. A true gastronaut, fusing the traditional culinary show with that of a travel documentary, but with a twist of his rock ‘n’ roll spirit stirred in for good measure, his deeply personal takes on cultures, cities, and foodstuffs hit differently to the more vanilla ones by other famed chefs and authors.

Fuelled by honesty, Bourdain’s travels would see him taste foods and develop as a human, often leaving profound comments on life and existence at the tail end of his shows. Sometimes, they would be so impactful that you couldn’t help feeling the pang of emotion deep within, a strange experience given his work’s prominent link to cooking, a topic not usually known to elicit a small well of tears, bar the fictional Ratatouille. However, this is reflective of the nature of his meditations.

Of course, a perfect counterbalance to such profundity was Bourdain’s frankness. When he didn’t like a meal or experience, he was unafraid to tear into it fully, leading us on a journey deep into his complex psyche and perception of the world. From being duped in Sicily – a place that would frequently be his undoing – to eating warthog rectum in Namibia and suffering altitude sickness in South America, to instil a tangible essence into his programmes, he put himself through the ringer on numerous occasions and then let us know all about it.

An open-minded individual, Bourdain was there to be surprised, and he knew that this would bear fruits of varying quality. However, he often found himself delighted at what experience lay before him, with many places worldwide leaving an indelible mark on his person.

One place he loved more than most, whose national sandwich, the chivito, he coveted dearly, was Uruguay. To Bourdain, this was the most “underrated” travel destination he had been to.

He told National Geographic in 2018: “Uruguay is an underrated destination. Montevideo in Uruguay—that’s to a great extent undiscovered. Everyone from Argentina knows how cool it is because they fill the place up during the season, but other than them, the rest of the world has yet to catch on. It’s a very laid-back place, the people are really nice, the beaches are incredible, and there’s great food. Tough country for vegetarians, though.”

Watch Bourdain in Uruguay below.

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