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Anthony Bourdain: Secrets of a layover expert

Did you know that the 55-year-old chef/author of Kitchen Confidential and TV host didn’t really start traveling seriously until he was 40?

“I was completely broke” and busy, he says. Now he says he travels “240 days a year” and “I have the world as my oyster.” Plus, he has “the greatest job in the world.”

That would include his new Travel Channel show The Layover, airing Mondays (check listings). What he’s trying to do is to “make a useful program” that shows you how to have authentic experiences in major destinations in 24-48 hours. That might mean finding one of the very hip food trucks in L.A. (such as chef Ludo LeFebvre’s, with sophisticated, herb-infused chicken and French delicacies) or discovering some of the great restaurants in strip malls. You could easily drive past, he says, but inside are treats from countries such as Korea.

He also loves Singapore, which he says has an “amazing food culture.” Street food there is fantastic, and so are restaurants. And when in Rome, “most (visitors) eat badly. There are a lot of tourist places with bad food.” He’ll point the way to small eateries that may not be in guidebooks.

RELATED:  14 U.S. restaurants worth planning a trip around

On The Layover, expect to see off-the-beaten-track lodgings and attractions. And as for Bourdain, he’s traveling like mad, “making up for lost time.”

Readers, when did the travel bug bite you? Or are you still an armchair dreamer?

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