So how has Panama changed? “It’s definitely a whole lot more. Back then, I was viewing things through the eyes of a teenager. I only knew what was in my neighbourhood. I’d go into the forest to find mangoes and oranges, and knew the basics within that environment. But now I have this whole world view, flexibility and mobility. With the farm now, and having seen how things are produced in other parts of the world, makes me realise Panama is full of abundance.”
Aris’ penthouse overlooks the bay, just 30 minutes from a jungle brimming with tropical botanical species and wildlife. His ‘city campus’ blends culinary arts with the outdoor elements. Multiple kitchens (without stoves!) follow an open-plan layout, with curious and colourful birds frequent visitors. There are three kitchens, a study room, four guest bedrooms, a library and small private wing where Aris rests and recharges for the day.
Stay true to your body’s daily cycle
Nevertheless, Aris feels less like an inhabitant of his house, and more like an inhabitant of his body, so he doesn’t have much to say when it comes to interiors. A few months ago, after first returning to Panama, he became so caught up in the whirlwind of activity to reestablish his life there, that his normal routine slipped, and he forgot to adhere to his own principles of following your body’s natural cycles. He found himself working 18-hour days, sleeping for four or five hours and starting all over again. Quickly realising he was losing his equilibrium, he returned to avoiding screens at night and now prioritises getting a solid 8 hours of sleep, after which he will get the day started. “I do what I call my ‘internal shower,’” he reveals. “Lots of coconut water, shots of lemon juice, aloe vera juice, and mint leaf juice – something strong to wake up my cells.”
An hour-long workout follows, running or walking around his 700-acre farm harvesting fruits from the 7,000 coconut trees and 100 varieties of fruit tree growing there. A video posted online of him climbing a tree to retrieve a coconut went viral, clocking up millions of views. He seems to find this quite amusing.