What makes Ikaria much more particular is that it’s one among solely 5 areas on the earth thought-about a Blue Zone, a spot the place individuals dwell the longest, healthiest lives of anybody on the planet. Studying this was inspiration sufficient for Julie Nguyen, who was burnt out from operating her enterprise throughout the pandemic, to pack up her baggage and go dwell in Ikaria for one month. These are the teachings she discovered from embracing an Ikarian life-style for a month.
1. Use your time to prioritize connections over productiveness
Nguyen had one rocky begin to her month-long keep. “On my manner from the airport, I took a mistaken flip and nearly drove my automotive off a cliff,” she says. “Locals got here to my rescue, taking a rope from a toddler’s swing set and spending hours determining the way to 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 manner 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 once you worth your time not by being as productive as attainable, 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 practically 13,000 communists to the island following the Greek Civil Conflict (1946–1949)—Ikarians don’t yearn for extra, Nguyan says she discovered from her time there. “Residing in Ikaria was the primary time experiencing what it’s prefer to dwell someplace the place cash is an afterthought,” she says. “They’re completely content material doing the identical issues daily and nobody actually cares about fancy garments, properties, 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 permit your age to outline you
Whereas numerous 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 once you cease permitting your age to outline who you might be or dictate what you need to or shouldn’t do,” Nguyen says. “I now not really feel ‘previous’ at 40 and love celebrating life extra usually.”
Although she’s now not residing in Ikaria, Nguyen (who’s at present calling Paris dwelling) remains to be embracing an Ikarian life-style 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 birthday 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 should be a precedence in life.”