The Journey Changes You

The Journey Changes You

Anthony Bourdain was an inspiration to me on multiple levels. His love of life experiences, culture, travel, food, and words were similar to mine, and every time I read something he wrote or watched something he created I was moved and challenged to do better with everything I created.

I was sitting at a picnic table outside of a brewery in Portland, Maine when the news of this death broke.

About to speak before a crowd of people who had gathered to hear my words, I sat in silence and tried to process it all. The message I was about to share was even more important now that he had left the world. Strangely, it made sense that I’d be on the road when one of my inspirations left.

Today, I’m writing this from a hotel room in Mumbai overlooking the ocean. Below me, the bustle of the morning has begun, and the waves crash onto a beach with almost no one on it.

I’m on the road — my first trip to Asia and India. I’m here to teach and mentor at the Jio Vichaar Innovation Bootcamp. Empowering a group of high school students looking to take their dreams and make them their careers.

I share all of this to give some background to my latest tattoo. A first on my left arm and a tribute to Anthony Bourdain and his approach to travel and a life well lived.

His full quote that inspired it is:

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay.

The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body.

You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

The one line of “The Journey Changes You” stuck out to me. Every step of the journey of life changes us in some way. It felt like the perfect sentiment to serve as a memorial to another soul gone too soon.

Luckily, I was able to schedule time with Dan Bythewood to do the art. He had done my other arm tattoo that would be the yin to this yang. We opted for a nonscript font and darker tones. I wanted each arm to be a bit of a mirror or each other, but with contrasting vibes at the same time.

I keep looking down at my art and thinking about how I now have Bourdain and Tolkien with me always.

I have personal mantras that the world can see and instantly judge me by. The random soul who will look at either and recognize the quote is immediately a kindred spirit.

There is no way to tell how long is left in my journey or how many days of wandering I have left. All I know is that I’m going to make sure that as many of them as possible have meaning and purpose.

To see, do, and experience as much as I can on this big blue marble we call home.

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