As seen in The Simon Letter: https://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/
People say, “Your health is your wealth.” I believe it goes much deeper... living in a location that promotes good health is like a new form of medical insurance. It gives you real health benefits and peace of mind. What kind of locations “promote good health”?
The term “Blue Zones” was coined by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow, who identified five regions around the world where people live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Living in one of these zones can offer a unique opportunity to learn from the habits and lifestyle of the people there... which can be beneficial for those looking to improve their own health and wellbeing.
The original five zones are:
(1) Okinawa, an island chain in the
southernmost part of Japan;
(2) the Italian island of Sardinia;
(3) the Nicoya region of Costa Rica;
(4) the island of Ikaria in Greece;
(5) finally, there’s Loma Linda, a city in
California home to a large population
of Seventh-day Adventists.
The lifestyle in these unique parts of the world involves healthy eating (veggies and fruits, whole grains, fish, and maybe red wine), plenty of rest and exercise, and a sense of purpose...
People who live in these zones tend to have lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. They also have better mental health and stronger
social connections. For those looking to live a longer life... living in a Blue Zone, and learning the local habits, could be the key.
What I Gained By Living In A Blue Zone
What age would you say I am? The average guess is 26. I just turned 38 on July 31—and
most people are shocked when I tell them my age. I live, for six months of the year, in
Montezuma, Nicoya, Costa Rica—and I definitely think this has had a positive effect on my life and how youthful I am, among other things...
Montezuma is a small beachside town nestled within the lush embrace of a tropical jungle. I was tired of the hustle and bustle of city life in Toronto (not to mention the winters), so I decided to leave it all behind and embark on a journey of self-discovery and find a simpler
way of living...
I was drawn to the jungle, with its vibrant greenery, exotic wildlife, and the soothing sound of the nearby ocean. I’ve settled in a modest yet cozy home, surrounded by fertile soil with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. The air is humid, yet crisp, and filled with the invigorating scents of nature. I truly feel held and supported within the energy of the jungle...
Living so close to the water has had an incredible effect on my wellbeing. I spend mornings greeting sunrises that take my breath away, listening to the orchestra of birds and wildlife
while having my coffee. I practice yoga or join a fitness class, go for a walk on the beach to
my favorite waterfall, or sit on my balcony and play music...
I have so much privacy, since the jungle is so lush, that I usually hang around my house naked. Almost every evening, I take a walk into town and chitchat with all the familiar faces along the way to the beach, feel the sand beneath my feet and listen to the rhythmic crashing of the waves. It’s as if the ocean holds the secrets to a peaceful and
balanced life. Then I wait for the grand finale to birth in our sky... the unbelievable star gazing. Often you will find many fires along the shoreline... everyone is welcoming; you can join in on their little pow-wow.
It’s not just the natural surroundings that contribute to my newfound sense of wellbeing. The small beachside town I call home offers a tight-knit community that embraced me with open arms. The locals and expats, like a big extended family, share stories, laughter, street
parties, film club nights, dances, art markets, pickle-ball tournaments, surfing, and so many more activitiestogether...
I feel a sense of belonging I have never experienced before—as if I have found my own tribe in this little piece of paradise. Now that I have lived here half of my year consistently for three years, I’ve noticed a remarkable transformation within myself. The jungle has a way
of nurturing my physical and mental health. The fresh air, clean water, and nutrient-rich food revitalizes my body, giving me newfound energy and radiance. The serenity of the
jungle helps quiet my mind, deepen my sleep, feeds my soul and allows me to embrace a more mindful and present way of living.
The Secrets Of Nicoya
Don’t just take it from me. There are 35,000 people living well into their 90s and beyond in Nicoya, Costa Rica... including those I know personally. Manuel is an 87-year-old who has also lived in the area his entire life. He attributes his longevity to his diet (fruits, veggies, wholegrains) and lifestyle. He stays active by working in his garden and taking long walks every day... Manuel is also a very spiritual person and attends church regularly.
Maria is a 102-year-old who has also lived in the area her entire life. She attributes her longevity to her diet, lifestyle, and family. Maria stays active by taking walks every day and doing her daily chores... she’s also very close to her family. There are many more stories like these in the area, and they all point to the same conclusion: that living a healthy and active lifestyle, combined with strong social connections, contributes to a long and happy life.
What about the expats who’ve moved here or snowbird here? I asked a few of them myself...
Bruce, from the States, is in his early 70s. He says: “My journey is always stimulating. I’m so lucky to have forged a lifestyle suited to my taste for adventure, culture, and nature. Costa Rica is the perfect base for my retirement. I really crave a small-town community environment. I hate cars. It’s a dream I guess I’ve cultivated. “I’ve been coasting on my good genes and innate laziness. The natural lifestyle must be beneficial for good health and mental balance, but I don’t work too hard at it. I feel healthier on the road, just walking. Losing weight and feeling fitter.”
Harris from the States, in her 60s, had this to say: “ When I am there for extended periods of time, I do feel healthier and my hair is definitely thicker, and that’s all that matters to me!” Why not join the many expats who have already figured out the secret to
longevity... it’s “location, location, location”!
This is the power of a Blue Zone
The other six months of the year, I live in Greece, close to Ikaria, and basking in the energy field of another “zone.” It has its own kind of magic that affects me too... and those around me. I did this on purpose. I thought to myself, what if I start at a young age, living between at least two zones...
I hope the advantages—like all the best investments—grow with time...
Written by Jacelyn Holmes, Founder of Our Song Retreats www.oursongretreats.com offering unique retreats in Costa Rica and Greece among other locations.