Are you happy with your life? We understand that is a very existential question, and there might not be an obvious answer to it. One thing we can say is whether we feel like our lives are fulfilled or whether there is something lacking. It seems like it’s so difficult to be fully content with life these days, as there is always something new to worry about, or to covet.
It’s rare to get a collective of people who are perfectly happy with their daily lives. And it’s even rarer still to get a whole nation that would define itself as such. Now, we often hear reports that Denmark, Norway, or some other Scandinavian hinterland is officially the happiest nation on Earth. But, we’d like to counter that with an offering of our own – Bhutan, the tiny kingdom in the Himalayas, and the place that declared itself the happiest country on Earth.
The world’s last Buddhist kingdom
Bhutan only opened its borders to the public as recently as 1974 and is the world’s last remaining Buddhist kingdom. The jewel of the Himalayas, it’s not hard to see why the people here would be so happy – the country is truly stunning. With staggering natural beauty everywhere you turn, it’s the sort of place where you can truly lose yourself in beauty, adventure, and opportunity. Welcome, to the last remaining Buddhist kingdom on Earth.
Long live the King
With a population of 700,000 people, Bhutan has long been viewed as one of the most interesting and attractive countries in the Himalayas. In fact, it has even attracted attention in the past from Buddhist celebrities, such as the actor Richard Gere. The nation first came to worldwide acclaim back in the ‘70s, when the king at the time, King Wangchuck, announced that Bhutan would not be measuring gross national product, but, instead, Gross National Happiness. And since then, this has become almost the unofficial motto of Bhutan.
Unique approach to tourism
Imagine if you lived in a tiny, but idyllic country, and every year, every month, every week, your nation was beset by tourists – loud, ignorant, and materialistic. You’d soon get pretty cheesed off with it, right? Well, Bhutan has taken a clever and unique approach to tourism – limiting numbers, and imposing a tariff on those who want to visit. This helps to boost the economy of the nation, while at the same time keeping the undesirables from entering the country. No wonder the people of Bhutan are so happy all the time.
It’s clear from just a few days in Bhutan that this is unlike anywhere else on Earth. It’s a world away from the crowded sidewalks, honking taxis, and bitter winds of Manhattan. This is a place where nature, religion, and enlightenment converge and coalesce to provide one of the most peaceful and serene places on the planet. The locals here are perfectly happy and contented with their lives – and why wouldn’t they be? After all, they live in one of the world’s most gorgeous places. And the tourism restrictions are bound to be to the liking of the population – they get to keep their magical country just the way it is.