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PostPosted: June 11 18, 9:45 am 
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Joe Shlabotnik wrote:
Do we really know if there was something dark there? Maybe he got a diagnosis he'd rather not deal with long term. Is it just because I live in a state that allows suicide for the terminally ill that I am the only one to get this?

He'd dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts before. That said, I'm selfishly hoping for a terminal illness diagnosis as a motivation. In France with his best friend, just saw his girlfriend's rapist put behind bars; some closure points.

Depression is a disease like any other, and it claims lives like any other. If that's all it was, that's ok. It's just hard to swallow because we'd all like to think that creative and professional fulfillment, romantic fulfillment, and wealth would make us happy. If not happy, at least not suicidal. That guy was standing in a tiny, hot kitchen until his 40's and almost overnight found himself a TV travel star and writer. It's the ultimate frustrated creative's fantasy and he got to live it at a time in his life well past when most of us have long since given up and settled into a workaday routine. Hard to parse logically, but depression doesn't care about logic.


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 2:45 pm 
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greenback44 wrote:
stlouie_lipp wrote:
he went off the beaten path and we all should some times.

Bourdain was a charismatic individual, and I'm jealous of his apparent ability to connect with everybody. Maybe there's a Robin Williams-type story here, where the end was nearer than anybody realized. But the sense I'm getting is that all this off-the-beaten-path stuff was one giant-ass distraction from The Real Problem. In my limited experience -- again, I certainly don't connect with people at all well -- this kind of life is frequently an aesthetically pleasing way way to kill time. And it seems like it becomes a trap, this one bar in San Francisco, this restaurant in Paris, and this hotel in Abidjan. There's always another adventure that must be had.


This is really well-stated.




Joe Shlabotnik wrote:

Do we really know if there was something dark there? Maybe he got a diagnosis he'd rather not deal with long term. Is it just because I live in a state that allows suicide for the terminally ill that I am the only one to get this?


It's possible, but his history of addiction is an indication of someone that's been looking for an escape for awhile.


Last edited by Socnorb11 on June 11 18, 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 11 18, 3:17 pm 
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Socnorb11 wrote:
greenback44 wrote:
stlouie_lipp wrote:
he went off the beaten path and we all should some times.

Bourdain was a charismatic individual, and I'm jealous of his apparent ability to connect with everybody. Maybe there's a Robin Williams-type story here, where the end was nearer than anybody realized. But the sense I'm getting is that all this off-the-beaten-path stuff was one giant-ass distraction from The Real Problem. In my limited experience -- again, I certainly don't connect with people at all well -- this kind of life is frequently an aesthetically pleasing way way to kill time. And it seems like it becomes a trap, this one bar in San Francisco, this restaurant in Paris, and this hotel in Abidjan. There's always another adventure that must be had.

This is really well-stated.
---
It's possible, but his history of addiction is an indication of someone that's been looking for an escape for awhile.

Interesting thoughts. Questions that anyone prone to wanderlust etc has probably considered (and/or had thrown at them in accusatory ways): Are you trying to run away and escape from something?

A good chunk of my FB friends are from outdoor adventure stuff (trails, paddling, MTB etc) - one of them just had this thrown at her = "what are you running from?"

My sense is if he, or anyone is trying to escape from something by always taking excursions from whatever problem or just depression itself or addiction - then he'd have figured out a long time ago that the travels weren't fixing anything. For example, why does he do this on his 15th or whatever # trip to Paris, rather than his 2nd or 3rd.

I can't relate to this aspect of Bourdain really - because he did it for a living. And the addiction issues. Whereas I'm a weekend warrior small scale wander-luster kicking back beers. For me, getting out makes me feel better about the world -more connected to it and the people. I get briefly blue after a trip, but am generally refreshed to take on whatever thing that might have been bothering me in my everyday.

Though this may tie to Greenback's thoughts: Meriwether Lewis -explorer extraordinaire. Ambrose's " Undaunted Courage" hypothesis on Meriwether Lewis suicide, as opposed to Wm Clark going on to productive life after the expedition. IIRC - Ambrose surmised Lewis was prone to chronic depression. indications he tried to self medicate when idle, but the main thing that kept him Lewis going was being immersed in a task. Ambrose noted that the period in camped in Oregon - Lewis was idle and the journal went largely silent. Idleness was the worst thing from Lewis. The post-excursion - Lewis had nothing to keep himself immersed in - he was unable to publish his trip reports. He went downhill fast. though again, we don't know other health factors he may have had.

Back to Bourdain, he'd been on and off these trips for so long, not sure why going on this one would do him in.


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 3:44 pm 
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Hard to say, Freed.

Why do kids who get bulled from 5th grade all the way thru 10th grade finally kill themselves? Why not sooner? Why did Robin Williams wait so long?


Stuff we'll likely never understand.


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 4:32 pm 
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I feel like escapism and distracting yourself need some defense here. Travel is fun and good -- it doesn't need to be justified and shouldn't be pathologized. What's anyone doing with their life, really?


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 4:36 pm 
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I don't think that anybody is saying that it's not "fun". It's just not "the cure".


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 4:43 pm 
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Socnorb11 wrote:
I don't think that anybody is saying that it's not "fun". It's just not "the cure".

Also, no one is saying that.

I just think stroking our chins and pondering what you're "running from" if you travel is kinda silly pop psych stuff. I suppose it's possible travel could be a way to run from yourself, but you can also do that by going to a meaningless job everyday. I'm not convinced this is even a bad thing or explains anything really.


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 4:49 pm 
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That sounds about right, Arthur.

I know people that go to a "meaningless" job every day, and they're giddy about their life.

I know others who "live it up", and they're miserable.


None of those things, by themselves, are fulfilling. I don't pretend to have all of the answers, but for me it seems like it's more about relationship. My wife and I can walk through a mall and make it seem like Disneyland. I've been on some business trips to some cool places that should have been pretty enjoyable, but I couldn't wait to get home, because I didn't connect with the people that I was traveling with. For me, it's rarely about "what" or "where"......... it's all about "who".


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PostPosted: June 11 18, 10:03 pm 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
Socnorb11 wrote:
I don't think that anybody is saying that it's not "fun". It's just not "the cure".

Also, no one is saying that.

I just think stroking our chins and pondering what you're "running from" if you travel is kinda silly pop psych stuff. I suppose it's possible travel could be a way to run from yourself, but you can also do that by going to a meaningless job everyday. I'm not convinced this is even a bad thing or explains anything really.

FWIW, I was not purporting that travel was" running away" from, just that I'd heard that notion tossed around. If someone stays home all the time, and organizes the garage, mulches, etc, -that seems more like not facing life than using your time to travel etc. My post was kind of meandering nonsense.

Anyhows, foremost, I think it's fun/healthy. escapism can also be a form of a coping mechanism - which is great. there really isn't a cure for mental illness - just methods of dealing with it during a lifetime. The Bourdain or even M Lewis examples - not sure they are applicable as there travels were their jobs. Nevertheless, it kept them occupied/engaged. Good chance that without their travels, they would not have lived the time they did. A better chance they wouldn't have lived in the rewarding sense either.


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PostPosted: June 12 18, 8:23 am 
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Seems more like chasing something then running from something to me. Your chasing that high, the unknown, the euphoria that comes with it. Then its not there anymore. The tenth trip to Paris doesn’t feel the same as the first few. You try to find it, recreate it, but it’s just not the same anymore. There’s nothing new under the sun. You’ve chased that high around the world and it’s not there anymore.

I try to look back and analyze things in my life. I had a ton of fun and n high school. Looking back a lot of it wasn’t anything particularly fun. Sitting in the square talking with friends or complaining about our parents. But when you leave the house that night in your washed up truck with way to much cologne on all your thinking about that s how that hot girl from two towns over that smiled at you last week might be there. Someone’s older brother might be in town and buy us some beer. When you leave that house at 17 the perception is that anything can happen and that produces a rush of excitement and emotions. As an adult I’m found I’m chasing that feeling. Not reliving high school or a lack of responsibility, just that “anything can happen” feeling.

I’m rambling. I’ll stop.


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