Are We There Yet? – Longevity Travel

I have always been intrigued by longevity… I had a great-grandmother who lived to be 102 and since then, I’ve done a lot of research on the topic (as well as writing and column writing – in fact, I have a longevity column that runs regularly in Canadian Snowbirds’ Magazine). So you can imagine my intrigue when I discovered a CNN travel article about an island where people “forget to die.”

The articles cites an incredible place called Ikaria in Greece, one of the recently-discovered “blue zones” where people tend to live much longer than in other places of the world, and it was penned by writer Bill Weir. “‘Life expectancy in America is about 79,’ said Dan Buettner, a self-described explorer. ‘We should be able to live to 92. Somewhere along the line, we’re leaving 13 years on the table. So my quest is – how do we get those extra 13 years? And how do we make those extra 13 years, good years?’ Many in medical science believe that only 25% of your longevity is determined by your genetics. They think the other 75% comes down to how and where you live. So last summer, we spent several magical days on Ikaria and saw firsthand the lifestyle secrets of 80- and 90-year-olds who experience Alzheimer’s and dementia at a rate one-fifth of America’s.”

Other places where people live longer than elsewhere include: Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Sardinia, Italy. Why? Some chalk it up to the fact that people in there respective cities eat locally grown and raised food, or that the families whom live in these areas have close relationships with one another, hence contributing to their overall well-being.

In any case, it should come as no surprise that these longevity hotspots are all on my travel bucket list.

For more information on blue zones, click here.

Bon Voyage,


Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at