An article on Yahoo Travel reports that the five happiest countries in the world — Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands — are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of prosperity. And they are also all great cruise destinations.
Researchers at the Gallup World Poll surveyed thousands of respondents in 155 countries, between 2005 and 2009, in order to measure two types of well-being.
First they asked subjects to reflect on their overall satisfaction, ranking the answers using a “life evaluation” score between 1 and 10.
Next, they asked questions about how each subject had felt the previous day. Those answers allowed researchers to score their “daily experiences” — things like whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged, according to the article.
It’s no surprise to me that these countries rank as the world’s happiest. The factor of bliss was part of the reason I moved there in 2007. The quality of life is extremely high, and though the residents work hard, they shove work aside for plenty of downtime.
In Sweden, for example, it’s not unusual to have nearly two months off annually, with paid vacations and holidays factored in. And Swedish Fika is more than just a coffee break. It too is about slowing down and smelling the roses – er, coffee.
If you’re a cruiser (and you must be; otherwise why would you be here?) then you owe it to yourself to do a Northern Europe cruise. Visit the Baltic capitals or cruise from fine cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo or Amsterdam, all cities right smack dab in the middle of euphoria and bliss.
Cruise to Helsinki or along the Norwegian coast (Editor’s Note: I could never understand why the company changed its name to Hurtigruten when Norwegian Coastal Voyage was so evocative of the experience you could expect on “the world’s most beautiful voyage.”) Cruise to happiness. It’s out there waiting.
Visit Ralph’s web site, www.avidcruiser.com, to contact him and for additional articles about cruising.