I am not halfway through reading a book called Ikigai, and I am already completed fascinated by the idea of one day visiting one of the 5 blue zones. But the question is – what is the meaning of Ikigai?
It is roughly translated as “the happiness of always being busy”. But we know it as the Japanese secret to longevity, especially on the island of Okinawa – which is one of the 5 cities considered blue zones. But what would be the secret for longevity and good health of people living in these cities?
Some studies believe the secret is a balanced diet, focus on exercises such as walking, and low levels of stress too.
We know that Okinawa holds the first place among the world’s Blue Zones. So, let’s now identify the other regions where people live longer and have fewer diseases than anywhere else in the world.
Okinawa | Japan
The north part of this Japanese island has a strong connection with the Ikigai philosophy. As we already mentioned here. It’s also the home for the world’s longest-lived women, where there are more centenarians than anywhere else.
Food is outstanding. The locals eat a rich in vegetables and tofu type of diet. And the secret to keeping it healthy is the Japanese habit of eating in small portions.
The island of (almost) eternal young has a strong sense of community. And there are a lot of things to do in Okinawa itself. From visiting the Shurijo Castle to the famous Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
Sardinia | Italy
Besides its natural beauty, this gorgeous region of Italy has also the world’s largest concentration of centenarian men. The secret is Sardinia is a diet rich in lean meat, plant-based meals that are also known as Sardinia Diet.
The food, as you can imagine, is all locally sourced. But another secret to the longevity in this gorgeous Italian island is also related to its geographic isolation. And because of it, the sense of community is quite strong there too. With the locals preserving their very traditional lifestyle.
I do not think we need any other reasons to believe that living in Sardinia must be good for the mind, body, and soul.
Loma Linda | California
I do confess that seeing California on this list was a surprise for me. But studies have revealed a group of Seventh-day Adventists that are among the longest-living people in the United States. Drinking plenty of water and putting more plants on their plate seems to be the secret of those men and women’s good health.
The Nicoya Peninsula | Costa Rica
Honestly, I think that Costa Rica is one of the most interesting countries in the world when it comes to ecotourism and wellbeing. If I could, I would spend some sabbatical time in Costa Rica, starting tomorrow if possible.
And if I say to you that one of the five blue zones is also located in Costa Rica? No surprises. The Nicoya Peninsula is another region known as one of the healthiest paradises on Earth. It is also known as the international wellness destination.
Are you thinking about detoxing after dealing with a quite difficult 2020? That is your new destination.
Ikaria | Greece
Greece, as you may imagine, is one of the most popular countries for tourism in Europe. It also happens to be in the prestigious list of Blue Zone sites. The tiny island of Ikaria maybe is not familiar to most of us, but it seems to be one of the most stunning locations in Greece.
Locals are known for their simple lifestyle where gardening, walking to their neighbors’ home now and then, drinking wine, playing domino games, and keep on moving is the secret for their longevity and happiness.
Long-life to the Blue Zones. Who knows in 2021 we all can travel to one of those places to find out more about these incredible people and their amazing achievements in life? After all, Japanese people believe that everyone has their own Ikigai. We just need to find it.