True not all of us can afford to live in any of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle. However, there are ways you can do in mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle in your immediate surroundings.
I’m sure most of you who are reading this article belong to the middle class members of our society and it doesn’t even matter whether you’re an American, Asian or other ethnicity living in a developing world or elsewhere, we’re all feeling the pinch of this crushing economy in our daily lives. It’s already hard to get by with the current situation that we’re in now, let alone having the desire in mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle. But after all that’s said and done, at the end of the day we all just want to live happy fulfilled lives and most of us choose the simple life over one that’s complicated and expensive, albeit rewarding, not because of financial reasons, but due to spiritual reasons.
We want to live in peace and quiet and connect with Nature and desire nothing more.
Now that this idea has been established, let us discuss on what you can do from your end on in mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle. Living in ultra dense urban area in any of these cities below is not exactly an ideal place to adopt a Mediterranean lifestyle:
- Tokyo (Population: 37,435,191)
- Delhi (Population: 29,399,141)
- Shanghai (Population: 26,317,104)
- Sao Paulo (Population: 21,846,507)
- Mexico City (Population: 21,671,908)
- Cairo (Population: 20,484,965)
- Dhaka (Population: 20,283,552)
- Mumbai (Population: 20,185,064)
- Beijing (Population: 20,035,455)
- Osaka (Population: 19,222,665)
- National Capital Region (NCR – The Philippines, Population 13,484,462)
But it’s not enough reason not to try. I firmly believe that you can transform any place into your own little paradise.
You may be interested to first read: Replace Junk Food with Healthy Snacks from the Mediterranean Diet
What Does Mirroring the Mediterranean Lifestyle will Entail?
In a nutshell living the Mediterranean lifestyle means to live frugally, eat healthy foods but moderately, live the simple life like the Sardinians do in Italy, be closer to Nature and appreciate its beauty and magnificence, laugh and have a closely knit community. Some of you who are reading this article might already be doing what I’ve mentioned above and if so, then good for you! You are living the Mediterranean lifestyle in its truest sense.
But, of course, it won’t be easy to adapt or mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle if live in Delhi or Tokyo, so I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that you can do when you live in highly urbanized and crowded environment.
Tip #1: Start your day with meditation – There are at least 9 different types of meditation exercises and I don’t even care if you’re religious or not, all I’m saying is that calming your mind is the first and best thing you need to do if you’re living in a busy stress-inducing urban environment. Mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle requires that you develop a healthy mental health profile before working on making your body healthy and one of the best ways to do that is through meditation.
Find a quiet spot in your flat or apartment, use some scented candles, Himalayan salt rocks, quartz crystals with healing properties (if you believe in spiritual healing), and some very soft music to play in the background. Find the right time to meditate too, so you won’t be distracted by the loud noises in the city (preferably before dawn at around 4am – 5am in the morning. Sit on the yoga mat in a lotus position and start meditating. For starters try to do it between 5 – 15 minutes a day, then increase the length of time of meditation accordingly. Learn how to meditate from this guide.
Tip #2: Follow the Mediterranean diet – Mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle means that you must also adhere to the diet that they follow since the ancient times, which is collectively known as the Mediterranean diet. This diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats from olive oil, healthy herbs and spices, seafoods that have the heart-healthy omega-3 nutrient, a moderate amount of wine consumption, less dairy products and red meat. There are literally hundreds of people living around the Mediterranean Sea who live up to a hundred years old!
Some of them still herd sheep and goats up in the mountains! Imagine a 99-year old farmer chasing his goats downhill at a steep 40 – 50-degree angle! My grandmother lost her ability to walk when she was 82 yet this guy can still climb steep hills and mountain tops?! It’s just incredible! That’s the power of this amazing diet and you should follow it if you want to remain spritely in your old age.
Tip #3: Match the scenery to ditch your misery – Biophilia is human beings’ natural desire to be connected with Nature according to a recent study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. Now why is this important? Well, if you live in the heavily polluted air of Beijing which has more stress-inducing buildings and intimidating skyscrapers than any greenery you wish you could find, you will feel miserable. This is why New York City has Central Park to reduce the stress that its citizens feel. It’s true that Beijing also has parks and I bet many people go hangout there for the same reasons as New Yorkers go to Central Park. The point is this: go to a natural park near your area to help cultivate a healthy mind. Speaking of which, here are a few places in the Mediterranean region with their counterparts in other countries of the world.
Majorca, Spain (Counterpart: Koh Yao Yai, Thailand)
This is exactly what I wanted to discuss in this article when talking about mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle. The reason why I wanted you to go to these alternate locations is if in case you live in those cities mentioned above. Heavily populated cities will definitely induce a lot of stress on any normal human being, which is why relaxing and unwinding should be a part of your lifestyle. Now Koh Yao Yai resort is a spectacular place to visit! But there is also a beach resort to match it in Lakshwadeep, India called Bangram Beach and likewise the Yalong Bay – Hainan Island in China is just as inviting!
What I’m saying is that there is a aesthetically pleasing place that’s a counterpart to any place in the Mediterranean Sea advertised as scenic and beautiful. Don’t think about it, just go to these places and enjoy a weekend or two there once every 5 years of your life. You will thank me for it someday.
Manarola, Italy (Counterpart: Paternoster, South Africa)
Do you love small picturesque coastal towns and villages? Well, so do I! Alright, they may not be exactly natural, however, they do inspire awe and calm at the same time. Just look at Manarola, or Dong Hoi in Vietnam, or Paternoster in South Africa, Tenby in Wales – The UK, Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland, Port Fairy, Victoria in Australia, Sviyazhsk in Russia and many other similar places in the world where it screams beauty all over! These coastal towns and villages form a beautiful landscape that essentially becomes a part of their natural surrounding that it’s almost hard to tell the difference. More importantly, it helps give the observer a stress-free state of mind, which when paired with a healthy diet will make for an overall healthy individual.
Athens, Greece (Counterpart: Angkor Wat, Cambodia)
Somehow, those ancient ruins don’t feel like artificial, to me they feel like part of Nature and if you’ve ever been in one of these places, you will know what I mean. Not only are they filled with historic stories, artifacts and what nots, they also inspire awe and calm just like the other places that I mentioned above. Your journey to mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle would not be complete without visiting ancient ruins (whether in the Mediterranean region or elsewhere). Angkor Wat for example, is a great place showcasing Nature blending in with man-made things and while I feel sorry for what happened to this great city and its inhabitants, I somewhat also feel grateful that Nature swallowed up the town and turned it into an even greater masterpiece than it already is. Find the nearest ancient ruins in your area and visit them, you could learn a piece of history sometimes.
Tip #4: Take one step at a time in your journey through life and enjoy every moment of it – If you work for a big corporate company, you probably are being told everyday to pick up the pace and accomplish more in an hour than the other guy in the other building could do in 1 day. This is the exact opposite of mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle, because people in the Mediterranean like to take it slow and breathe in the life all around them with the one ultimate goal that they’re ironically are also unaware of (or are simply taking for granted) – to be happy. Of course, I’m not saying that you should quit your job. You might need your salary more than pursuing a life goal, but if you are working in a fast-pace high stress environment, then do something that will allow you to relax and keep your mental health in check after a day’s work.
Normally, people who live in densely populated areas would go to a bar to drink away their stress, but in reality all this accomplishes is give them a terrible hangover and destroy their liver. Not a very bright idea if you want to live until your retirement, but why not get an early retirement instead?! I’ll save that for another topic. The point that I’m trying to get across is that getting wasted in the weekends or during your days off will not solve anything. Personally, I have nothing against people getting wasted once in a while, I used to do that when I was young too! But do set aside time for the important things and have a little fun in life also. And if you have to, give greater importance to mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle than the other trivial things.
Be with your friends and family, enjoy each other’s company, enjoy your meals especially, and remain physically active.
Mirroring the Mediterranean lifestyle when you don’t live near the Mediterranean Sea can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible to create your own version of the Mediterranean lifestyle experience. You can have some peace and quiet in your home or apartment, you can meditate and keep a healthy state of mind, you can prepare meals that are consistent with the Mediterranean diet, you can engage in physical activities that will not only make you physically active but also make you enjoy the physical activities that you’re engaged in, and you most certainly can enjoy the Earth’s natural beauty in your local area just as much as any person living in the Mediterranean region is enjoying his surroundings.