What makes Ikaria much more particular is that it’s certainly one of solely 5 areas on the planet thought of a Blue Zone, a spot the place folks stay the longest, healthiest lives of anybody on the planet. Studying this was inspiration sufficient for Julie Nguyen, who was burnt out from working her enterprise in the course of the pandemic, to pack up her luggage and go stay in Ikaria for one month. These are the teachings she realized from embracing an Ikarian way of life for a month.
1. Use your time to prioritize connections over productiveness
Nguyen had one rocky begin to her month-long keep. “On my approach from the airport, I took a fallacious flip and virtually drove my automotive off a cliff,” she says. “Locals got here to my rescue, taking a rope from a baby’s swing set and spending hours determining how you can tow my automotive for me.”
Nguyen, who’s the founding father of the sustainable meals supply enterprise, Methodology, says that was the primary time in her life she’d skilled a bunch of strangers all come collectively and exit of their approach to assist her. “I by no means knew I may really feel so supported and protected amongst strangers,” she says. “I collapsed into mattress that night time and cried. This expertise taught me in regards to the pleasure that flows by you if you worth your time not by being as productive as doable, however through the use of it to attach, present kindness even to strangers, relaxation, and have a good time.
2. Outline success for your self
Due to Ikaria’s distinctive political historical past—Greece’s authorities exiled almost 13,000 communists to the island following the Greek Civil Struggle (1946–1949)—Ikarians don’t yearn for extra, Nguyan says she realized from her time there. “Dwelling in Ikaria was the primary time experiencing what it’s prefer to stay someplace the place cash is an afterthought,” she says. “They’re completely content material doing the identical issues day-after-day and nobody actually cares about fancy garments, houses, automobiles, or meals. This taught me the significance of deciding for your self what it means to you to have sufficient, be sufficient, and do sufficient. I now catch and cease myself extra usually once I’m evaluating my success to the success of others. It’s introduced me a lot peace and gratitude for my life.”
3. Don’t enable your age to outline you
Whereas loads of curiosity and discuss of Ikaria facilities on the longevity of its residents, it’s not even a subject of debate amongst locals. “There’s a freedom you’re feeling if you cease permitting your age to outline who you’re or dictate what you must or shouldn’t do,” Nguyen says. “I not really feel ‘previous’ at 40 and love celebrating life extra usually.”
Although she’s not dwelling in Ikaria, Nguyen (who’s at the moment calling Paris dwelling) continues to be embracing an Ikarian way of life in some ways. “My 10-year-old nephew who lives in Austin, Texas, simply despatched me an electronic mail asking if I’d attend his celebration,” she says. “Initially I used to be going to say no due to the lengthy flight time and the way a lot is occurring with work proper now, however then I caught myself and remembered that life is about connecting with family members, and issues like this must be a precedence in life.”
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