Each year the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes the World Happiness Report. For the past four years, Finland has taken top honors. The report is less about how happy people are, but rather, how content they are with their lives. While the report gives some general insight into how each country’s citizens perceive their own happiness, we thought it would be fun to poll our staff and see what they believe are the happiest places on earth based on their travels.
Ker & Downey’s Happiest Places on Earth
“I always refer to Argentina as my ‘happy place.’ Every time I land in Argentina — whether it’s in bustling Buenos Aires, boundless Calafate, or in beautiful Mendoza — I always breathe deeper. Maybe it’s the delicious wine, the vast and varied landscapes, or the endless supply of empanadas, alfajores, and mate… Somehow all of these ingredients make it feel like home.” – Elizabeth
You won’t find a more welcoming group of people than the Irish. Walk into any Irish pub, and you’re bound to feel like you’ve found a new family over a pint (or two). One thing that makes the Irish so happy? Their resilience and ability to laugh off situations. That’s a lesson we could all learn in our pursuit of happiness.
“I once took a trip to the Xingu Reserve in Brazil with my friend John Carter. John was the only person allowed to land his plane at Kamaiura village so whenever John landed it was a major welcoming committee of the entire village. Those people were as happy to see me as they were John, and they wanted to show me the entire village. That was eye-opening for me because they lived off the land with no modern conveniences. Such a happy people.” – David
Bhutan calls itself the “World’s Happiest Country” and even created an index called the “Gross National Happiness” (or Gross Domestic Happiness). Reaching 100% GNH per capita is the end goal of their constitution. The concept urges a more holistic approach to development, giving equal importance to the non-economic aspects of wellbeing. It was their philosophy that spawned the entire movement.
Research shows that vitamin D plays an important role in regulating mood and decreasing depression. Is there a better place to soak in vitamin D than in Hawaii? Indeed, its swaying palm trees, beautiful beaches, volcanoes, and wildlife are instant serotonin boosters. Plus, there’s plenty to do for an active family. After a few days in “Aloha State” everyone will come back happy and refreshed.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
“With the serenity of Zen Buddhism, the compassion of elephant sanctuaries, the endless delicious Thai food, and the spiritual renewing festivals like Loi Krathong, Chiang Mai is one of the happiest places on Earth.” – Amy
“I would say Rwanda. After the genocide, there seems to be a culture of healing and positivity. Even from the smallest house in the tiniest village, the people have so much pride in their homes and gardens which extends to the country in general.” – Nicole
Travel to the Happiest Places on Earth with Ker & Downey
After the past few years, we all undoubtedly could use a dose of happiness. Traveling can provide that! Our team of designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you. Contact us today to start planning your trip to one of the happiest places on earth. And for even more daily travel inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.