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Before I go,

The day is quickly approaching when we will pack our bags and leave Turtle Island. A couple of times over the last few months I have reflected on our travel plans & coinciding life plans (or lack thereof) and written about it.

To kick off this travel blog, my inaugural post will be a backtrack in time to a moment when Anthony Bourdain made my world make sense.

July 13th, 2022

Here I sit, in Tallahassee, Florida on a second-hand tattered leather couch with a pullout bed that we have never opened. I’m watching Roadrunner, a biographical film about Tony Bourdain in his beginnings. When travel made him quiet and he cringed at the thought of the unknown.

And then he got to Vietnam. He smoked some weed with a good friend from home, lost his guard, and ate the heart of a poisonous snake for night-time television.

The flashbacks of his life feel like flashbacks to my own childhood, where we watched Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations from various hotels across the country.

My parents were truck drivers, carting me through the wild wild west in my booster chair. I ran through fish markets with more buzzing life than an angry ant hill. I climbed sand dunes and mountains and met people who didn’t look like me. They fed me food that was different from my own and I learned that interesting and good are synonyms.

And now I think to myself- how the hell did these people expect me to stay put? I was raised on Anthony Bourdain and Bratz doll stickers on my part of the 18-wheeler. I’ve got time and no ties, and so off I go to see South America. Of course I am going to do everything I can to taste the bittersweet growing pains of travel. I’m going to keep my head above water. Keep my eyes open big for the picture.

I won’t marry the cynic and the empath in the same way as Tony, but I will go and I will love and I will eat.

I guess this is an ode to my parents. Thank you for making me go. Thanks Tony for making me look at the world with respect.

Tony didn’t go with the love of his life. I’m going with mine. I am excited to share the world with someone who loves me so dearly, and who I love in equal measure.

So cheers to paperwork, obscure visa requirements, lots of layering, and a whole lot of adventure.

Lots of love,

Lauren Kinsey Kuhlman


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