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Blue Zones Wellness & Longevity Combined with a Global Travel Lifestyle

Posted by Kyrah de Jesus on Feb 26, 2024 8:30:08 PM

A traveling family walking the steps of a Greek Island Village

Welcome to the world of Blue Zones, where longevity meets vitality. Blue Zones are regions across the globe where people live significantly longer, healthier lives when compared with other areas. These regions have been studied extensively, unveiling unique lifestyle factors contributing to the exceptional health and longevity of their residents. In this journey, we explore the core elements that lead to longer lives in the Blue Zones and we delve into how Storylines, with its revolutionary lifestyle approach, is poised to elevate this concept to new heights.

While Blue Zones have been in existence for thousands of years, they recently gained some much-deserved attention through in-depth studies reported on by Dan Buettner, an award-winning journalist, producer, National Geographic Fellow, and author.



The Blue Zone Lifestyle: Secrets to Longevity

A healthy looking older couple walking along the beach achieving longevity

In exploring the profound wisdom derived from the Blue Zones, it becomes evident that these designated regions tend to exhibit remarkable practices conducive to longevity and well-being. The populations in Blue Zones tend to naturally lean towards a lifestyle that incorporates healthy features, including daily movement, strong community bonds, purposeful living, and adhering to a wholesome, plant-centric diet. When examining the Blue Zones, one discovers a consistent thread of habits contributing to extended life expectancy. 

As we take a closer look at the Blue Zones, it becomes evident that these extend beyond mere geographic locations; they encompass entire communities committed to healthy choices which results in individuals of all ages experiencing improved well-being.


Diet and Nutrition

A smoothie made from banana and coconut, fresh fruit part of the blue zone diet

In Blue Zones, diet and nutrition play a pivotal role in fostering longevity and overall well-being. The inhabitants of these regions adhere to dietary patterns that emphasize diverse, predominantly plant-based, locally sourced, and nutrient-rich foods. Let's delve deeper into the dietary secrets of these practices that contribute to the exceptional health observed in Blue Zones.


1. Diverse, Plant-Centric Diets

Blue Zone communities emphasize a predominantly plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. The abundance of colorful, nutrient-dense foods provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants crucial for maintaining optimal health.


2. Moderation in Animal Products

While not entirely vegetarian, Blue Zone diets typically include small amounts of animal products, such as fish and dairy. The emphasis is on moderation, with animal products serving as complementary sources of protein and essential nutrients.


3. Hydration and Herbal Infusions

Staying well-hydrated is a common practice in Blue Zones, with an emphasis on water and herbal infusions. Herbal teas and infusions not only contribute to hydration but also offer additional health benefits through their antioxidant properties.


4. Traditional Food Practices

Blue Zone inhabitants often follow traditional food practices, incorporating local and seasonal ingredients. Eating locally sourced, seasonal foods not only supports sustainable agriculture but also provides a variety of fresh, nutrient-dense options.


5. Mindful Eating

Mealtime in the Blue Zones is often considered a social ritual, with families and friends coming together to cook together and eat together, promoting a strong sense of community and fostering mindful eating. This also encourages healthy eating habits such as Hari Hachi Bu, AKA, the 80% full rule


Physical Activity

A couple hiking towards a snow-capped mountain

In the Blue Zones, the commitment to daily physical activity is a cornerstone of the exceptional health and longevity of the inhabitants. Let's explore the key elements of physical activity in Blue Zones and understand how a life of movement is woven into the fabric of these communities.


1. Natural Movement Patterns

Physical activity in Blue Zones is not about rigorous exercise routines, but rather about incorporating natural movement as part of daily life.


2. Active Transportation

Blue Zone residents often prefer active modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling, for daily commuting.


3. Purposeful Work and Manual Labor

Engaging in purposeful work and manual labor is a common practice in Blue Zones, contributing to physical fitness while serving practical purposes.


4. Social Components of Physical Activity

Physical activity in Blue Zones is often intertwined with social interactions, making an active lifestyle more enjoyable and consistent than going at it solo.


5. Consistency Over Intensity

Blue Zones prioritize the consistency of physical activity over intensity. This means moving throughout the day instead of remaining sedentary then heading to the gym for an hour.


6. Outdoor Living Spaces

The Blue Zones often feature outdoor living spaces that encourage residents to connect with nature in an active and meaningful way through gardening, cooking and eating as some examples.


Social Connections

People coming together volunteering, a popular theme in the blue zone lifestyle

In Blue Zones, the profound impact of social connections on health and longevity is evident. The emphasis on strong community ties and meaningful relationships distinguishes these regions as places where social connections are woven into the fabric of daily life.


1. Extended Families and Multi-Generational Living 

Blue Zones often exhibit a cultural norm of extended families and multi-generational living arrangements, where aging parents receive care from the younger generations, who in turn benefit from their wisdom and experience.


2. Strong Sense of Community

A commitment to creating and nurturing a strong community is at the heart of Blue Zone living.


3. Social Networks and Friendships 

Blue Zone inhabitants maintain close-knit social networks beyond their immediate families, whether it be through their church, neighborhood, hobbies, etc.


4. Volunteerism and Social Engagement

Many Blue Zone residents actively participate in volunteer work and community service. Engaging in volunteering can infuse your life with meaning and purpose, bolstering self-esteem and overall well-being. Additionally, it serves as a stress reliever, positively impacts the community and enhances interpersonal relationships.


5. Daily Rituals and Socializing 

Blue Zones often emphasize the importance of daily communal rituals, including shared meals, religious practices, or other group activities.

6. Emotional Support and Stress Reduction

Strong social connections in Blue Zones act as a powerful buffer against stress and adversity due to the socio-emotional support that friends, neighbors and family provide.


Life Purpose and Stress Reduction


In Blue Zones, the pursuit of purpose and effective stress reduction strategies plays a pivotal role in the overall well-being and longevity of inhabitants.


1. Ikigai and Sense of Purpose 

Blue Zone communities often embrace the concept of having a life purpose. In Japan for example, it is known as ikigai, a term that translates to ‘a reason for being’ or ‘a reason to wake up in the morning.’

2. Contribution to Community and Society 

Engaging in activities that contribute to the well-being of the community or society at large is a common practice in Blue Zones and enhances one’s life purpose.

3. Connection to Nature 

In many Blue Zones, a strong connection to nature helps reduce stress.

4. Daily Rituals 

Blue Zone communities frequently incorporate stress-reducing rituals into daily life such as meditation, napping, and happy hour.

5. Work-Life Balance and Leisure Activities 

Blue Zones often prioritize a healthy work-life balance, emphasizing the importance of leisure and recreational activities.

6. Embracing Aging and Transitions 

Blue Zone communities often exhibit a positive attitude towards aging and show great respect and reverence to older generations.


7. Spiritual Practices

Blue Zone inhabitants tend to belong to a faith-based community or simply believe in a power greater than themselves. 


Lifestyle Choices

Elderly couple eating Mediterranean food and drinking red wine in alfresco dining

In Blue Zones, lifestyle choices play a crucial role in shaping the daily routines and habits that contribute to the exceptional health and longevity of their residents.


1. Moderate Alcohol Consumption 

Moderate alcohol consumption is a common lifestyle choice in the Blue Zones. “Wine at 5,” specifically, red wine is the most beneficial and usually enjoyed with close ones.

2. Avoiding Smoking 

Unsurprisingly, a notable feature of Blue Zone communities is the low prevalence of smoking.

3. Nature and Environment 

Many Blue Zones environments have a strong connection to nature, whether it be deep in the highlands or on an idyllic island. Only one Blue Zone, Loma Linda, is an urban setting.

4. Cultivating Hobbies and Interests 

Engaging in hobbies and interests is a prevalent lifestyle choice in Blue Zones.


Blue Zone Locations


Through his years of studying the lifestyles of the world's longest-lived individuals, Buettner identified five original Blue Zones scattered across the globe where inhabitants experience remarkable longevity and well-being:


Okinawa, Japan

Elevated view over a beautiful coastal town in Okinawa, one of the worlds five blue zonesKnown for its high number of centenarians and a diet rich in vegetables, tofu, and seaweed. Much like the Costa Rican's, Okinawans also have a strong sense of purpose, known as Ikigai.


Sardinia, Italy

Sardinian town of Ollolai in Nuoro Province in the mountains has a high percentage of centenarians

Particularly the Nuoro province (pictured), where a diet rich in whole grains and goat milk is prevalent. Natural movement and walking steep slopes is also common.

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica 

jillian-amatt-wRwZJfQqmFI-unsplashThe residents here are known for their strong social connections, outdoor activities, and a diet centered around beans and corn. They also have a strong sense of purpose which they call, plan de vida.


Ikaria, Greece 

sarah-mutter-UnrxrFKMMzU-unsplashAn island where a Mediterranean diet, physical activity, and strong community ties contribute to longevity.


Loma Linda, California, USA 

mareko-tamaleaa-AjmxsqCg9Tw-unsplashThe Seventh-day Adventist community in this area has a vegetarian diet and values daily exercise and strong, supportive social bonds, along with their faith.


It's important to note that the concept of Blue Zones is more about identifying lifestyle factors contributing to longevity rather than strict geographical boundaries. Additionally, the average age of longevity can vary within each Blue Zone. Centenarians were commonly found in these regions, with some communities having a higher percentage of individuals living into their 90s and 100s compared to global averages.


Power 9 Habits

So what should those of us who don't live in a Blue Zone do if our goal is to achieve similar longevity? It largely comes down to having healthy individual choices around diet, activity, stress reduction, community, etc., which can be practiced regardless of where you are in the world. As a guide, Dan Buettner outlined nine core elements of the Blue Zones which he calls the Power Nine Habits.

  1. Move Naturally
  2. Purpose
  3. Downshift
  4. 80% (full) Rule
  5. Plant Slant (diet)
  6. Wine at 5
  7. Right Tribe 
  8. Loved One's First
  9. Belong 

Now, let's observe how these power 9 habits mirror the lifestyle onboard Storylines MV Narrative.


Storylines at Sea is Redefining Blue Zone Living

Healthy older couple on bicycles in the mountains achieving longevity

At Storylines, a community living aboard a traveling private residence ship, we have conscientiously designed our global lifestyle to make these healthy principles highly accessible. Moreover, we support the members of our residential community in their quest for a vibrant, healthy, and long life.

At the core of the Storylines' global lifestyle is health and wellness. The design, amenities, features and services available to our residents facilitate living in an optimal state of health. Our community of global travelers can live their best life while enjoying it with vitality and longevity. 

Let's look closer at some of these aspects of the global lifestyle residents experience aboard Storylines MV Narrative...


Integrated Wellness Programs

Woman in an infinity edge pool at a wellness center with sea in the background

According to the Danish Twin Study, approximately 20 - 30% of an individual's longevity is genetics, with the remaining 70 - 80% being determined by environmental factors such as lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress, etc. (McGue et al). This gives each of us powerful options to optimize the quality of our own lives. 

At Storylines, we redefine the paradigm of Blue Zone living by seamlessly integrating wellness habits into everyday life, embodying a holistic approach to health. Our wellness-focused global lifestyle draws inspiration from the world’s Blue Zones with healthy food options, physical activity, a positive outlook, and an engaged community.


Active Lifestyle

Embark on the MV Narrative, where life is designed for optimal health and longevity. Residents enjoy long sunny days exploring the globe while staying physically fit through walking, swimming, cycling, and kayaking in destinations all around the world. The ship’s facilities, including a well-equipped wellness center, waterfront marina, spa, gym and open-air sports deck all contribute to the creation of the next blue zone.


Wellness Center

The first-of-its-kind 10,000 square foot wellness center at sea is a private sanctuary for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Tailored programs by personal wellness coaches cover fitness, nutrition and mindfulness, offering immersive experiences with the mission to extend one's lifespan and enjoy it in an optimal state of health and vitality.


Spa, Salon and Barber

Indulge in self-care through massages, facials, and specialty treatments. The salon and barber offer a range of services, empowering residents to incorporate self-care and rejuvenation into everyday life.

Sustainable and Nutrient-Rich Cuisine

Hydroponic Garden growing vegetables and fruit

Life onboard the MV Narrative is a voyage to vitality, navigating towards healthier horizons through dietary advantages. Storylines is committed to sustainable and nutrient-dense cuisine, aligning with the dietary principles of the blue zones which are heavily focused on whole foods. The ship’s farm-to-table restaurant, inspired by the Mediterranean diet features organic and local produce.


Nutrition and Dietary Plans

An onboard nutritionist is available for the ship’s residents who desire a tailor-made dietary plan. The nutritionist is also on hand to support and encourage healthy eating habits such as practicing 80% full, a rule the Okinawans call Hari Hachi Bu. The Blue Zone, Pritikin, and Mediterranean ways of eating are not just culinary options, but potential keys to enhancing longevity and well-being. 


Produce Grown Onboard and Farm-to-Table Restaurant

The ship cultivates its own fresh produce using innovative solar-powered hydroponic gardens. This sustainable approach harnesses solar energy to grow leafy greens and vibrant vegetables, ensuring a continuous supply of nutritious ingredients for our farm-to-table restaurant. Storylines offers ample menu options and initiates research to study the impact on health and aging.  

Active Amenities

Pickleball - Mixed Doubles Action

Open-air Sports Deck

Active living spaces and recreational activities are incorporated into the Storylines daily lifestyle. Enjoy a friendly game of pickleball, sunrise yoga classes, or jogging around the track while relishing the fresh sea air. The multi-sport court, walking track, and yoga sun deck make physical activity an easy and integral part of the community's daily routine.


Lap Pool

One of the three pools on board is a dedicated lap pool that will also be used for pool workouts, water aerobics and rehabilitation exercises. 


Juice Bar on Deck

The juice bar located on the open-air sports deck, features freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, delicious smoothies and a range of healthy snacks. Take a break from your physical pursuits and have a refreshing drink while enjoying the incredible views. 


Waterfront Marina

Residents of the condo ship have access to water sports equipment such as paddleboards, kayaks, sailing dinghies, snorkel gear, scuba gear, and surfboards. The ship's marina, offering direct access to pristine bays worldwide, is a testament to Storylines' commitment to incorporating physical activity (and fun!) into daily life.


Community Connection



Storylines at Sea goes beyond being an easy way to sail around the world; it's a global community fostering meaningful connections among like-minded individuals. With 1,000 residents living onboard the MV Narrative, the exclusive residential community is designed to foster close-knit friendships and communal support that will last a lifetime.


"The biggest fear I have as a single woman is losing that sense of community that drives our lives. It's vital. It's essential for mental health. Humans have always been a safety net for each other. The light of the human spirit will always find a way to burn brightly."

~ Suzanne, California, future Storylines resident


Purposeful Living

A man teaching his passion - guitar lessons to a young female student with purpose

Learning, Growing and Creating

Those who live aboard the MV Narrative are always eager to have new experiences and expand their horizons. In addition to onshore activities such as cooking classes, visits to UNESCO world heritage sites, participating in local cultures and so much more, residents enjoy resources onboard the ship such as lectures and classes, performances, and creative spaces including an art studio, maker space, and hobby lounge.


Volunteer Opportunities 

Storylines residents are global citizens. They want to make a positive impact wherever they are in the world. We provide members of our community with opportunities to participate in volunteer activities in a variety of ports where they can give back to the places we visit and make meaningful connections.



Mindset is a founding principle of Storylines, mirroring one of the key elements of the Blue Zones. With an emphasis on the importance of rest, relaxation, and a sense of purpose, Storylines supports mental and emotional well-being, contributing to a mindfulness practice and a purposeful life.


Optimal Aging Clinic

Middle aged woman being treated by male doctor inside anti aging Wellness Clinic

Optimal Aging Clinic

In addition to the fully equipped medical center, residents and guests aboard the ship benefit from the expertise of Chief Health Officer Dr. Brian Martin, a specialist in functional medicine and anti-aging. Dr. Martin integrates Eastern and Western medical practices with cutting-edge innovations to promote optimal living and aging. His objective is to enhance residents' lifespan and quality of life. Advanced treatments available include peptides, IV therapies with nutraceuticals, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP), intravenous chelation therapy, detoxification, vitamin injections, and cosmetic solutions like Botox.


Medical Research

Residents can also do their part in furthering medical research through volunteering for studies conducted by our clinic. Within the controlled setting of the private residence ship, Storylines conducts groundbreaking research on participants' diet, health, and lifestyle. Utilizing wearable technology and data analytics, researchers monitor the effects of nutrition on biomarkers of aging, chronic disease, and overall health. This research, alongside advanced medical facilities, ensures a preventative approach, a better quality of life, and longevity.


"My mission is to add years to your life and life to your years."

~ Dr. Brian Martin, Storylines Chief Health Officer


Could Storylines be the Next Blue Zone?

MV Narrative residential ship, the next blue zone?

The Blue Zones provide valuable insights into living long and living well. Storylines incorporates all of these insights into its global lifestyle so that people can have access to this unique way of life anywhere in the world. It is a unique and unparalleled environment in which to thrive. From innovative wellness programs to sustainable cuisine, active living spaces, and fostering meaningful connections, Storylines is not just a global lifestyle; it's a movement towards a longer, healthier, and more purposeful life.

For a more in-depth understanding of how Storylines embodies Blue Zone philosophies, explore Storylines’ Wellness & Longevity Brochure for more information about how we incorporate the lessons learned in the Blue Zones, and discover a new way of crafting your own life into the life of your dreams.

Topics: Health, Principles, Medical, wellness

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