The Swiss are happy, and they have every reason to be. After all, they earn a lot of money, they eat a lot of chocolate and raclette, and they live in the probably the most spectacularly beautiful country in the entire world.
According to the World Happiness Report for 2015, which was released a few days ago, the good people of Switzerland are the happiest on earth. You can just picture the Swissies dancing in the streets right now, waving wads of cash in the air, singing songs, embracing each other, feasting on holey cheese and wurst.
Laos may rank as the 98th happiest country, but tourists will always receive a warm welcome there.
For example, there are 98 countries that are happier than Laos. Ninety-eight. But anyone who’s visited this little south-east Asian state will be able to tell you how amazingly friendly its citizens are. You never feel unwelcome in Laos. You’re invited in to private parties; you’re asked to join sports games. It’s a place of joy.
At number 110 in the world: Iran. Given their country’s political instability and crippled economy, Iranians would have every excuse for the odd down-turned lip. However, as a traveller you couldn’t hope to visit a friendlier, more welcoming place.
Iranians are effusive in their friendliness – they’re generous and sincere, kind and helpful. Strangers are welcome guests. You can’t walk a few city blocks in places like Esfahan and Shiraz without someone stopping you to provide their own little official welcome to Iran, and to enquire about your enjoyment of their country. It’s amazing. It’s uplifting.
Let’s work further down the list. At 117, there’s India, that most unrestrained of countries, a place where you meet a million people every day, a place where everyone wants a piece of you, whether it’s to get to know you or to sell something to you or even just to touch you. There’s never a dull moment in supposedly sad India.
Of course it’s nice to travel to the happy countries. It’s great to soak up slices of the good life. But travel experiences aren’t all chocolate and raclette. Sometimes the friendliest places are those that supposedly have things the worst.
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resource references: traveller