Andrew Zimmern: Chef and TV Host Andrew Zimmern Says He’s Banked Some of the Best Parts of Himself in Vietnam

“The man I like the most is who I am when I am there.”

Andrew Zimmern shops in a food market Hyderabad, India

Revenge travel is out (in fact, it never really felt “in” to us). Instead, this year we’re all about reconnection travel, which is proving to be the top reason for travel postpandemic. After a tough few years, people are going out into the world again with real excitement—and purpose. So we interviewed 11 globe-trotting celebrities to find out what “reconnection” means to them, whether that’s hitting the road solo, feasting through Italy, gallivanting with old friends, paying tribute to loved ones who’ve passed, or making an all-important visit to mom.

Below, Andrew Zimmern—the chef and restaurateur known for his former TV show Bizarre Foods and his current series Family Dinner on Magnolia Network—gets honest about how he reconnects with his best self, and how he hopes to pass that on to his son.


What place is calling you back?

Which place isn’t? I have been around the world and back many times over. When you visit a place, and give freely to others giving to you, when you share and are shared with, you leave with a piece of a place. More importantly, the more you travel, the more you are aware that you leave a piece of yourself behind, and sometimes you need to go back and get it to be whole again.

I have been to Vietnam a half dozen times and have experienced so much joy there that on each returning trip I got more and more immersed in living . . . they say don’t rent a motor bike there, don’t disappear into the back country or mountains alone, don’t eat this or that, don’t don’t don’t. Well, that’s contempt prior to investigation, and my best times were when I did, did, did. And now, 8 YEARS since going there last, I need to go back and retrieve some of the energy and spontaneity that I left there. I banked some of the best parts of myself in that beautiful, wild, hot, shape-shifting place I love. I miss it, but more importantly I realize I need it. The man I like the most is who I am when I am there.

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