We've all been through a pretty bleak 18 months, so why not put some sunshine in your life by planning a trip to one of the happiest countries in the world? We've ranked the world's countries based on their level of happiness, using a combination of rankings from official happiness reports, interviews, and first-hand experience.
No matter the GDP, this Himalayan Buddhist kingdom considers "Gross Domestic Happiness" (GIF) to be just as important as economic development. Bhutan came up with the idea of the FDB using nine metrics, among which are Well-being, Standard of Living, Education, Community and Ecological Diversity. The concept website is more than just a gimmick: happiness, spirituality and compassion are part of policy making, and even enshrined in the Constitution
You may be wondering if the creation of the GDH really makes citizens happy. Well, according to the country's happiness census, 91% of Bhutanese feel happy, and 43.4% even describe themselves as "deeply happy."
When you visit the country, you will be able to experience the GDH of Bhutan in many ways. You will discover that more than 70% of the territory are protected forests, which have been proven to help make you feel happier. If you go on a hike, you may well be invited into a total stranger's house or a yak herder's shop for a cup of hot tea. And the cultural places of Bhutan, like the Tiger's Nest teetering on the edge of the world's most rugged mountainous terrain, they are so impressive they are guaranteed to give you a sense of exhilaration.
Chris Orlikowski, spokesperson for COMO Hotels, which includes boutique resorts Uma Paro and Uma Punakha in Bhutan, tells us: “Many guests are drawn to the country for its spirituality, and this includes the concept of GDH. Taking care of the environment is an important aspect of the GDH»
Finland, in Europe and one of the happiest countries in the world
Not only Bhutan controls the happiness of its inhabitants. The United Nations uses data from the Gallup World Poll to assess everyone's happiness and publishes his results annually in the World Happiness Report. For the fourth year in a row, Finland tops the list
The Canadian journalist and transplant to Finland, Katja Pantzar, explains in her book the finnish way than a combination of Finnish concepts such as the use of movement as 'medicine', forest therapy (regular immersion in nature), healthy eating and 'sisu (a resilient and courageous 'national spirit') contribute to the satisfaction of Finns.
All of them are concepts that you can easily adhere to on your trip to Finland. Being the most forested country in Europe, hiking, camping and traditional sauna options abound, with the idyllic Jyväskylä (Lakeland Finland), currently trending as a point of interest. Don't forget to partake in healthy eating the Finnish way, with countless opportunities to try the Nordic diet of fresh fish, berries, mushrooms and whole grains.
And let's not forget that Rovaniemi, in the Finnish Arctic Circle, it is the official home of the jolly Santa Claus, as well as a prime spot to watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky. All this makes travelers of all ages have more than enough fun.
The Caribbean island of Curaçao could be one of the happiest places in the world, not least because of the country's "dushi" outlook. The Papiamento word "dushi" means all that is sweet and good, and is embedded in the soul of Curaçao in a similar way to the way the "sisu" spirit is embedded in Finland.
'Dushiit can be used as a term of endearment for everyone from family members to strangers (similar to how southern Americans say "darling", or the British say "my love"). “A day, a feeling, a sight, a meal, or even a thought can be dushi,” explains Tirzah Statia, visitor information officer at the Curaçao Tourist Office. «Dushi is a way of life. A dushi life means a happy life," he adds.
Seeing the sweetness in all things seems to give the island a great vibe. Take a self-guided tour of Willemstad on an electric scooter to discover how residents have adorned their walls with bright colors and street art celebrating nature, people and their multicuhecultural heritage. Look for models and sculptures of 'chichi(older sister), with arms outstretched as if ready to hug you. Snorkel with the surprisingly not-shy sea turtles at Playa Piskado. Check if Curaçao brings up the 'dushi' in you.
According to another global happiness index, known as the Happy Planet Index (IPH), Costa Rica is the happiest place to live, and has topped the rankings three times in a row. The HPI measures which nations' residents live the happiest, longest, and most sustainable lives. They calculate it using well-being data from the Gallup poll, statistics on life expectancy and inequality from the UN, and the ecological footprint from the Global Footprint Network.
Costa Rica has the highest density of wildlife in the world, so locals and visitors alike spend a lot of time appreciating its natural wonders (a recurring theme in these happiness surveys). Among the highlights is the Corcovado National Park, which is home to 140 species of mammals, such as spider monkeys, tapirs, sloths, pumas, and even rare jaguars, as well as 463 species of birds, such as toucans and scarlet macaws.
Government suppressed the army in 1948 and redirected funds towards education, health and pensions. This made Costa Rica develop one of the highest living standards in the region. For this reason, some 50,000 North Americans live there permanently.
Just ask seasoned digital nomad, Heidi Obermann, what Costa Rica is all about. Heidi tells us: “I have lived in many different countries, but for me, the happiest country is Costa Rica. Not surprisingly, here people greet each other sayingpure Life' ['pure life'/'everything's good']. There is a lightness here, and people respect nature and live in harmony with it.
“Many also don't watch the news, they live in their own 'happiness bubble'. I am not referring to big cities like San José, but to small towns and villages. In a town I lived in for a year, the number one conversation was who had recently seen a jaguar. At night in the bar they proudly displayed photos of the animals they had photographed instead of grumbling about world events. How beautiful is that"
the danish'hygge The concept of "hygge" (feeling of comfort and contentment) may already have been commercially exported to the world in the form of fluffy socks, cinnamon buns, and saunas. But the real reason Denmark ranks second in the World Happiness Report has more to do with maintaining healthy everyday habits, like walking in the woods, cycling and berry picking. The country's social safety nets and having the best work-life balance in the world also contribute to its position. Denmark has a 37-hour work week and full-time workers spend 66% of your day to leisure and personal care
Why not embrace the Danish lifestyle by signing up for the free Danish 'wild food' app, 'Vild Mad'. It allows you to learn to connect with nature, try new flavors, and discover where your food comes from as you search the bucolic landscape of Denmark. The idea was created by famous Danish chef René Redzepi, whose Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, has just been awarded the prize Best Restaurant in the World, 2021. The information offered by your application on landscapes and ecosystems is something that you can also use around the world
As Redzepi told the WaPo: «Knowing the alphabet of nature, flora and fauna, the patterns of the landscape and the rhythm of the seasons is as important as learning to read and write».
Alternatively, join a guided tour guided tour and look for mushrooms. nothing, do kayak, sail or fish along the 5,440 miles of scenic coast and islands. And take a look at the fairytale cities along the way, such as Ærøskøbing – this popular destination wedding venue is considered the most beautiful village in Denmark
As the famous Danish-British designer Ilse Crawford writes, “Material goods rarely alter our levels of happiness, unlike emotional experience. Having can never replace being."
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I am a passionate traveler with an innate desire to discover the world. To date, I have had the privilege of visiting 31 countries and most of them have left an indelible mark.
During my travels, I have gained valuable knowledge on how to travel efficiently. I have perfected itinerary planning, accommodation selection, and making the most of each experience. I am proud to share my tips and tricks with you so that you can enjoy hassle-free and unforgettable trips.
On this blog, you'll find a carefully curated selection of destinations, practical tips, and honest reviews of hotels and tourist attractions. My goal is to inspire you and provide you with useful resources so that you can plan your own adventures with confidence and peace of mind.
May travel fill you with joy and open you up to new possibilities!