In 2004, journalist Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic to identify places around the world where people live long, health, happy lives. Through first hand observations and empirical data, Dan and his team found five special places on earth. These five places might not have allot in common at first glance, but they share one delightful fact: they are home to the happiest and oldest people in the world. These locations include:

1. Ikara, Greece

The population of this little Greek island is almost entirely free of dementia and chronic disease. They live eight years longer than Americans do. How come?

According to Dan Buettner and his team, the Ikara people devote a lot of time socializing and being outdoors in the clean air and warm climate. They also eat a Mediterranean-style diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil.

Want to adopt some lifestyle customs from the Ikarians? Catch up with family and friends over a cup of herbal tea. Social connections are very beneficial to your mental health, while the herbal tea gets you stocked up with antioxidants.

ikara greece
2. Loma Linda, California

In this sunny Southern Californian town, people life 10 years longer than other people in the United States. The Advent Church plays a big role in the long lives of Loma Lindans by promoting a culture focused on health.


A lot of the church’s members follow a vegetarian diet and they keep their stress levels down with moderate exercise and a 24-hour Sabbath every week.

Want to adopt some lifestyle customs from the Loma Lindans? Find a friend who you can share your new healthy habits with. This is not just good for your social ties, but it will also make it easier to maintain your healthy lifestyle by feeding off each others habits.

loma linda ca
3. Nicoya, Costa Rica

People in Costa Rica have a higher life expectancy than many developed countries. The excellent health care, economic security, family and a plan de vida contribute to the inhabitants’ longevity.

Their plan de vida, reason to live, help the Nicoyan keep a positive outlook and active lifestyle. Also they maintain healthy by eating light dinners, no processed foods and plenty of tropical fruit. Want to adopt some lifestyle customs from the Nicoyans? Drink hard water, the water in Nicoya contains the country’s highest calcium and magnesium content that might explain the low rates of heart disease and stronger bones.

4. Okinawa, Japan

These long stretched Japanese islands are home to some of the world’s oldest people. The women on Okinawa live longer than anywhere else on the planet; they have a life expectancy of 86 years. One of the secrets to their long life might be their attitude towards life.

Okinawans know why they get up in the morning, giving them a meaning to life. This could be taking care of their children or jobs like bringing in the early morning catch. Their diets also contribute to a healthy lifestyle because it contains lots of plants from the garden, soy and spices like ginger and turmeric. Want to adopt some lifestyle customs from the Okinawans? Grow your own herbs, spices and vegetables. And never forget to live a life that’s of purpose to you.

okinawa japan from the air
5. Sardinia, Italy

People in Sardinia have a genetic advantage since they carry something called the M26 marker. This marker is linked to long life, but their lifestyle also accounts for the high number of centenarians on the island.

They like to have a good laugh with family and friends while enjoying red wine and vegetables from the garden. Their Mediterranean lifestyle combined with tight family ties makes this one of the happiest places on earth. Want to adopt some lifestyle customs from the Sardinians? Spend time with your family, after all, people with strong family ties are less sensitive to depression and stress.

sardinia italy

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