Greek-American Woman Lives The Dream

Greek-American Anna Katsas quit her job to live on the Greek island paradise Ikaria – which boasts one of the longest average lifespans in the world – and revealed the ‘biggest change’ she had noticed since her from California to the Aegean Sea.

Anna Katsas bid farewell to West Hollywood in 2022, bound for the Greek island, where she has family ties from her 90-year-old grandmother, who was born there.

‘The biggest change I noticed after living in the blue zone Ikaria, by far, is how social, kind and caring the people are,’ Anna began, adding: ‘And I’ll give a few examples of this.’

‘So, let me start by saying Ikaria is a very safe place. And I would often go for walks along in… the village and I’d feel safe enough to say hello to everyone who passed by. And they’d say hello back.

‘And more often than not, we’d strike up a conversation. They’d ask, “Who are you?” “How long are you staying?” “You look like your dad!” “Are you from this family?” “We’re cousins!”

‘And, this would just happen. And we’d become friends after that!’

‘One time, I said hello to a woman. And she ended up being my cousin! And she invited me into her house to have coffee and cookies that she had just freshly baked. And they were so good. And we had a deep conversation about life – about how you should follow your dreams and pursue what makes you happy.

‘And, all of this happened because I said “Hello.”‘

As a second ‘example,’ Anna offered up her first-person observations of the community’s consistency in showing up to check in on her grandmother.

‘When I was living with yiayia – my grandmother – in her house, multiple times a day, people would come in to check in on her. Sometimes they’d bring extra harvest from their garden, like vegetables and fruits, and just give it to her,’ Anna explained.

‘Some people would check in for 10 minutes, ’cause they were on their way and they had to be somewhere. And some would stay for hours, because they had known her their whole lives.

‘And this was just a natural occurrence. It was so refreshing to see how much people truly care about other people in Ikaria.’

She adds she believes ‘people are so genuine because of [Ikaria’s] history.’

In another video, Anna elaborated that human civilization on Ikaria dates to the 7th century BC, where inhabitants thrived while cultivating honey, wine and olives.


How being self sufficent helped Ikaria become a Blue Zone (Part 3) #bluezone #ikaria #ikariabluezone #greekhistory #longevity #ikariagreece #bluezonesecrets

♬ original sound – Anna Katsas

Unfortunately, the agricultural production on the island, along with geographical vulnerability, made it a prime target for pirates.

The residents ultimately decided to ‘stay, destroy their own ports and hide,’ Anna said, adding that they retreated from the coast to the mountains, and ‘essentially disappeared from society for hundreds of years, becoming self-sufficient.’

In a follow-up post, Anna said that, while living out of houses built into boulders on the mountains for camouflage, the people of Ikaria ‘relied on themselves and their neighbors for survival’ – implying that this lifestyle set the cultural foundation for a community built on unwavering mutual support of its members even millennia later.


How anti-pirate houses helped Ikaria become a Blue Zone (Part 2) #bluezone #ikaria #ikariabluezone #icaria #greekhistory #longevity #lifestylechange #historytok #ikariagreece #bluezonesecrets #greenscreenvideo

♬ Dancing In The Moonlight – 苏颜悦

Elsewhere, Netflix’s Live To 100: Secrets Of The Blue Zones also delved into the reasons behind the longevity of Ikaria’s residents.

‘Here’s a population living about seven years longer than Americans with about half the rate of cardiovascular disease,’ host Dan Buettner narrated.

He noted he found it ‘interesting’ he couldn’t find any cases of dementia among the many residents in their 60s, 70s and all the way up to the 100s.

Besides nutritional benefits from staples including herbal tea, raw honey and wine, among the main ‘secrets’ Dan discovered were an unyielding emphasis on interpersonal and romantic relationships as well as ‘dancing and laughing.’


My 89-year-old grandmother still works in her own garden! #greenscreen #bluezone #ikaria #ikariagreece #bluezoneslife #longevity #centenarian

♬ Outdoors – Acoustic Guitar Chill


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