10 Countries in 10 Days: A Tribute to Anthony Bourdain

Have Eurail pass, will travel. Katelyn Colantonio and friend on a train.

Food. Adventure. People.

Anthony Bourdain lived his life valuing these things more than anything else. The fearless and humble nature of his personality inspired audiences all over the world. This, in turn, taught so many people an incredibly important life lesson, which is to try to experience new things, places and people as much as you can in your life. Because ultimately life is about connecting with other people by seeing their world and eating their food. Writer Julieanne Smolinski may have summed him up best: “Anthony Bourdain tried to show TV viewers how people who weren’t anything like us were just like us. He viewed humanity with curiosity, compassion, humility, and humor.”

While I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy, I decided to utilize my 10 day session-break from classes to do the most Anthony Bourdain thing I could think of: Go to 10 countries in 10 days. So, with the fiery inspiration to see as much as we could and fully utilize the little bit of money we had in our pockets, my friends and I planned a crazy 10-day adventure that spanned 10 countries across Europe.

"I used my break to do the most Bourdain thing I could think of: Go to 10 countries in 10 days."


Travel necessities: camera, passport, Eurail pass

We really did take planes, trains, and automobiles, and it didn’t stop there. We went on boats and ferries — and even managed to get from France to England on a bus.

We met people from every walk of life and from countries that we didn’t even visit, like the young man we met from the country Georgia who saw me struggling with my adapter in the airport and then lent me his own laptop charger for me to use. Or the taxi driver in Greece who drove all the way back to the airport and found us, all to return a plastic lens cap that we didn’t even realize we had lost.

We walked tens of thousands of steps in what felt like a walk around all of Europe. We ate Italian pizza and gelato, Swiss chocolate, French crepes and escargot, German handmade mustard and Black Forest cake, Belgium waffles, Greek yogurt and feta cheese and so much more. We put our feet in the Mediterranean, went on the London Eye, saw the Amsterdam tulip festival and climbed to the Acropolis of Athens as well as the first Olympic Stadium.

In the end, we saw Switzerland, Germany, England, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Greece. We saw so much, ate so much and walked so much in these 10 days that we were utterly exhausted when we got back. But man, was it worth it.

Here’s to you, Anthony Bourdain.



JWU group at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Waterfront with colorful houses, Skagen, Denmark.

Katelyn and friend trying crepes.

Colorful Amsterdam houses, all in a row.

Houses clustered on a steep rocky hill, Cinqueterre, Italy.

Calm Aegean sea with beach chairs and umbrellas.