By embracing what it means to be human in Okinawa, you can live a long, fulfilled life, just like these ladies
Photo by CC user teosaurio on Flickr

With each passing year, it seems like the world is continuing to speed up exponentially. For many, it is approaching a pace that is wearing them out well before their time.

More than ever, we need to take a break from being a machine so we can rediscover our human roots again.

In 2017, search for them on Okinawa. An archipelago of islands in Japan known for having one of the healthiest populations on Earth, it is here where you’ll find the recipe for a life well-lived.

Learn from some of the longest-lived people on the planet

Okinawa is home to one of the world’s greatest concentrations of people that have lived to be 100 or older.

Not only that but their elderly are also known for having some of the lowest rates of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s in the world.

If you wish to learn from the masters how they do it, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so, as there are plenty of everyday Okinawans in their 80’s and older working jobs, engaging in exercise and meeting with friends for a glass of sake.

Approach one with the help of a Japanese speaking guide, and listen intently as they explain how their diet and outlook on life has granted them a blessedly long life.

Savor local Okinawan food, prepared with fresh ingredients and love

Forget about the fast food that you shovel into your mouth without a second thought back home, and rediscover what it means to eat food that has been prepared with thought, intention, and love.

Throughout the island, there are plenty of traditional restaurants that prepare dishes containing life-extending superfoods such as goya (a bitter melon), sweet potatoes and taro.

With many dishes being presented in a visually stunning manner, you will have a renewed appreciation for those that have a firm grasp on the art of culinary presentation by the end of your trip.

Meet with artisans, and create something with your own hands

In our modern age, most of what we consume is prepared en masse in soulless factories. Thankfully, there are still gifted artisans that create objects in a thoughtful manner throughout the islands of Okinawa.

From potters that spin up vases and bowls from wet clay just as their fathers did before them, to glass blowers that take molten sand and craft it into stunning goblets, lamps, and figurines, there are plenty of people here that still make things by hand.

Experience the closeness of Okinawan households at a homestay

You usually stay in a hotel or resort … but this is no ordinary holiday. Instead, make plans to move in with a real Okinawan family for part or all of your stay.

In these accommodations, you’ll get to see how they live their daily lives, and they will invite you to join them for meals and family celebrations.

By being amidst those that have been shown to live longer, healthier and fuller life spans, you’ll be able to see how their strong familial connections contribute to their collective state of well-being.

Let Okinawa’s forests and beaches recharge your spirits

Making plenty of time to get in tune with nature’s rhythm has also contributed greatly to the healthy state of the Okinawan people.

With soft white sand beaches, colorful coral reefs to explore just offshore, and plenty of trails through rainforest that leads to sublime waterfalls, you’ll be able to fill your mind and spirit with the sort of beauty that can’t be found in your everyday modern life.

Leaving the sounds of civilization behind will give you a chance to soak in the calmness of Okinawa’s wild spaces, giving you a lesson that you can take with you when the time comes to return home (reluctantly).