I have a problem. Half of me wants to sip miso soup and do yoga and the other half wants to drink too much wine and eat gourmet food. One day I will run 10k, and another day I will watch repeats of any murder mystery programme I can find on TV, while slipping cheese into my mouth.
I don’t think it is just me with this problem. Almost everyone I know struggles with achieving balance in their life, whether it be working long hours, not getting enough exercise, drinking too much or having that extra slice of pizza. I think half of our time is spent trying to achieve balance, and the other half is spent telling everyone how balanced and happy we are, as we hide the doughnuts under the bed.
When I was young I never said no to another pint of beer or another late night. Everything was an experience. My job has taken me to every continent (bar Antarctica) and over 40 countries, and with it I have eaten at some incredible restaurants, seen awesome sights, met inspirational people and stayed at some of the best hotels in the world.
One day this year I woke up and nearly everyone I knew was married with kids and buying four-wheel drives and planning where to have their holiday homes. When people have kids, the fact their child has done a crap or smiled at a black and white book, is far more interesting than doing martial arts in a temple in South Korea or eating an entire sheep, lungs and all, in Outer Mongolia.
It makes sense that they have found a reason to be, where as I am still searching. However, one of the most valuable things I have learnt on my travels is the macrobiotic way of living: To be balanced and healthy and still be able to enjoy life. To live the big life. I spent a few days at the Penninghame Foundation in Scotland and was taught by Bill Tara, Marlene Watson-Tara, along with owners Marie and Ray Butler. It changed my outlook and made me realise life is about choices, rather than chance. So when my fiance got a job in Paris, I saw it as an opportunity for a fresh start. I decided to explore the city’s incredible culture, heritage and language and at the same time try to find macrobiotic food and live life to the full.
At 33 years-old, enough is enough. I want to grow up and take responsibility for my body, my health and my life.
So, this is me, searching for the Big Life: a macrobiotic mission which started in Paris and has followed me to the Cotswolds. It’s going to be another adventure, and I’m ready for it. I just hope my fiance likes brown rice.