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Keeping it Simple in Okinawa

In Family on

Before my trip to Okinawa, I was planning to take photos and write a post about Okinawan’s healthy lifestyle habits. As you may have heard before, Okinawa is one of the places in the world where people are living a longer and happier life. Think 90-year-old ladies selling fresh fish at the market and gentlemen riding bikes to commute. After a week of exploring Okinawa with my uncle Antonio and my father-in-law Blake, I was fascinated by their wonderful similarities and life choices. They are both married for almost 40 years, their wives are their best friends, and they both had two boys that turned into incredible men. They both had successful careers, always had exercising as a priority in their lives, and they both have a deep sense of spirituality, simplicity, and humbleness.

So instead of using the Okinawan’s healthy habits, I want to introduce you to Antonio and Blake. Their simple choice during the week in Okinawa exemplified the traits of how we can create a long and happy life journey…

Keep moving

Every time there was an option between the escalator and stairs, Blake always chose the stairs no matter how steps there were.
When we arrived in a new place, Antonio was always the first one to walk around to explore and take photos.
When no one wanted to walk anymore because it was hot and we were tired, they both walked 2km to the beach just to release a crab that we (not them…lol) mistakenly grabbed at the beach the day before, thinking that it was just an empty shell.

Working for others

As soon as they retired, they looked for a job and activities that they enjoyed to keep dedicating their time and skills to others. During the whole trip, they were constantly asking, “do you need anything?” and prompt to help with whatever we need…carrying bags, watching the kids, opening doors, all those essential little things…

Having a good time

Antonio enjoys a cold beer once in a while and Blake, a glass of wine at the end of the day. They eat everything, but the meals they chose during the whole trip were usually the healthiest ones on the menu. When I asked them:

How do you honor your health?
Antonio: A balanced life. Exercise regularly, eat a bit of everything without excess and most importantly, keep a positive mindset because life will have hard moments. Keeping our thoughts positive makes overcoming challenges manageable.
Blake: Balance of mind, body, and spirit.

Enjoying the little things

They never complain. Everything was always good. The long rides, the hot and rainy days, the late dinners, the small AirBnB house. They find ways to be grateful for what’s in front of them. They truly celebrate the little things throughout the whole day. The cutest thing was the many pictures they took with their phones, so at the end of each day, they could send to them to their wives.

Surrounded by loved ones

Antonio’s son organized the whole Okinawa trip. And he told me, he invited his dad because he wants to give back to everything he did/does for him. And he wants to create spectacular moments together.
When I told Blake that Sky and I were going to Okinawa, without hesitation he said he would love to join us. And not just because Tim couldn’t make this time, but because he wanted to create memories with Sky. Their wives didn’t come to the trip, but they supported their decision to go. I asked them:

What is the most important aspect of a strong and joyful marriage?
Antonio: Acceptance. There are no two human beings that are the same in the world. We carry different ideas, values, and cultures, so acceptance is essential.
Blake: Each other.

Antonio and Blake, thank you for simplifying and demonstrating with ease, how to live a happy and long life!