I’m sure most people would say they love to travel, enjoy good food and the feeling they get after a great workout. I know I’m not alone in these three passions and how I constantly crave the pleasure they bring. I can’t think of anything better than digging into an incredible meal amongst the backdrop of an exotic country, all the while knowing that you really can enjoy it because you have an active lifestyle (so why not order dessert…and a cocktail or five?!). However, certain things in my life make it easier than others to enjoy these three delights…
I have seriously, seriously itchy feet. I hate to stay in the same place for too long. Growing up I spent alternate weeks at my Mum’s and Dad’s houses in Buckinghamshire. Perhaps that’s what started it all off. Since then my nearest and dearest have become not-so-near (but even more dear) and has fuelled this need to constantly move around. My Dad moved to Italy in my teens, which has increased my love of travel and allowed for the most incredible summer holidays and gastronomic discoveries! When it came to the time for me and all my friends to apply to University, I couldn’t quite stomach the idea of going straight there without a little adventure beforehand. Luckily, my best friend felt the same so we worked our little socks off and clocked up endless hours of waitressing, babysitting and cleaning to fill our bank accounts ready for a three-month round the world trip. This was my first real taste of ‘proper’ travelling and I can safely say I caught the bug (incidentally, so did my best friend who is now living an enviable lifestyle teaching English with her boyfriend in South Korea). While in New Zealand, I met an equally travel-obsessed boy who happened to live just 50 minutes away back home. 4 years later and we’re still going strong. When we returned from our trip, my older Sister had flown the nest after finishing University and moved to London, providing me with a permanent spare room whenever my quest for new experiences brought me to London, which it often does given how food-focused our beautiful capital is! Then came the time for me to move out of home for the first time to begin University in Bournemouth whilst my boyfriend went off to Uni further along the coast. I spent four incredible years at Bournemouth (including a placement year when I lived in Basingstoke) and met the most wonderful friends. In my first year there, my Mum moved house to the beautiful Cotswolds which is where I have now moved back to having finished University, and have returned to my gap-year ways of feverously saving money for my next adventure – a working holiday in Australia after graduating in November.
So that’s a Mum in the Cotswolds, a Dad in Italy, a Boyfriend on the coast, a Sister in London, a childhood in Buckinghamshire and University in Bournemouth… keeping up? All this means I never really spend more than a week or so sleeping in the same bed, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
In terms of food, that’s been a passion for as long as I can remember. I love eating food, I love cooking food, I spend hours watching cookery programmes (Nigella and Barefoot Contessa being particular favourites) and read cookery books like they’re novels. I could talk about food for hours, and luckily my friends, family and boyfriend are all the same. I am extremely fortunate in that my Mum owns her own bakery business Bealicious Bakery, and I have been very successful in my role as chief taster and bowl-licker. I also work in a fantastic pub in the Cotswolds, which also gives me access to some delicious dishes on my lunch-breaks and first dibs when the chefs experiment with new dishes.
My love of fitness began at a late stage. I was never sporty at school (probably a result of being too preoccupied with food) but towards the end I developed a love of running and the benefits of eating a little bit healthier. On my placement year I was lucky enough to work at a place with the Holy Grail – a free gym. Having never been able to get my head around paying for a gym membership when you can run outdoors for free, I now had no excuse. From then I was hooked and upped my game in terms of strength and weight training rather than just running. I also increased my miles and ran my first half marathon with my Mum and sister and am now training for my second. My boyfriend studied sport science at University and now works in strength and conditioning, so I have excellent advice and workout plans on tap, as well as someone else to gorge with when the increased appetite that comes with increased exercise kicks in – perfect.
So there you have it, just as into great food, beautiful destinations and regular exercise as everyone else, but lucky enough to have food, fitness and travel on tap thanks to my ever generous loved ones.