Happiness is one of the top things that most travelers seek during their journey. To get away from the chaotic stream of daily life and gain pure happiness, Bhutan - the world's happiest country - can be your perfect destination. Here are the reasons.
1. Gross National Happiness (GNH)
In this remote and small kingdom in the Himalayas between India and Tibet Autonomous Region of China, the Gross National Happiness, instead of Gross National Product, is championed as the core paradigm of development. According to the 5th king of Bhutan, GNH is the bridge between the fundamental values of kindness, equality and humanity and signifies development with values. It measures the development of a country in a more holistic way. The "happiness" in GNH means the true abiding happiness rather than fleeting pleasurable moods. This concept encourages the people to live in harmony with nature, and realize their innate wisdom and the true and brilliant nature of their own minds.
So, what does this mean for travelers? You can expect to meet friendly local people who always wear smiles on their faces, and get to know the well-preserved cultures, simple way of life and pristine nature. You can also expect to find out the true meaning of happiness.
Girls wearing traditional clothes and sweet smiles
2. Purify your minds
"Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind." -- Amit Ray, an India enlightened spiritual master.
Bhutanese live in a gorgeous land with over 60% of the land being unspoiled wilderness, and they can look at beauties everywhere to purify their minds and delight themselves.
Bhutan has never been colonized, which gives the people an optimism. They laugh and enjoy life, and that is contagious. You can easily feel their happiness when seeing their smiling faces.
A happy young boy with a contagious smile
Adequate and high-quality sleep also contributes to happiness. According to a survey, about 2/3 of Bhutanese get at least eight hours of sleep per night, which is much more than those in most countries, especially industrialized countries. It is well documented that sleep benefits happiness and overall health. Try to do as the Bhutanese do to sleep at least eight hours per night when you are here, you'll feel you are refreshed from body, mind to soul.
3. Let nature be your guide
Environmental protection is one of the 4 pillars of GNH. The Bhutanese always live in harmony with and full respect for nature, making Bhutan is one of the only ten biological diversity hot spots in the world. The nature is carefully protected and remains untouched and in the pristine state. So just let nature be your guide. Hike a mountain to enjoy the glorious greeting of the rising sun. Trek a forest wilderness to wash your spirit clean. Admire the flowers of every color blooming between the fields. Or watch the stars shining brightly in the darkness and let them ignite your imagination. Just as John Muir, an American Environmentalist, said, "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
A gorgeous view of Paro Valley
4. Less is more
The Bhutanese learned about happiness and how to bring it into and find it in their life since they were very young. Schools also offer happiness lessons. Life here is simple but happy. Kids play with mud, grass, sticks and other things easily accessible from nature. If these pieces of stuff are broken or lost, no need to worry. These are free and can be easily replaced. The adults also live simply. They don't care about television, radio, or the internet.
It inspires us to learn to simplify our lifestyles, and be satisfied with what we have rather than want. Simple living can give us a sense of satisfaction and happiness.
Kids have fun playing football on a simple "football field".
5. Do best to help the rest
Most Bhutanese believe in Buddhism, which guides them to be pure of heart, mind and intention, and brings them joy, kindness and inner peace. They are aware of suffering, and very compassionate and willing to help people who are facing hardship. Even the poor with little to give will try their best to help those in need and brighten their days. Besides, they also avoid causing pain to others, even to the animals. Fishing is the only legal "hunting" form. So all living creatures here roam freely without the possibility of being killed for food or fun.
An old but kind man
Inspired by their kindness and our social responsibility, we at My Odyssey Tours started to do our best to help children in need in Bhutan. If you are interested in, please read our post More Happiness Will Be Created in Bhutan for more information.
6. Take the road less traveled
Bhutan is now on his way to pursue national happiness and progress. When you step into Bhutan, you will find this country is so special where happiness is considered to be more important than the economy alone. Its ancient culture and traditions will make you think differently about nature, life, death, happiness and yourself.
And people here are so friendly and kind. Kindness is a way to happiness. No traveler will forget his visit to Bhutan, the so-called "The Last Shangri-La".
A scenic country road in Bhutan
7. A word of advice
Bhutan is a land of ancient monasteries, awe-inspiring natural beauty and happy people. It appeals to travelers from all over the world. If you are inspired to take a wonderful Bhutan trip, here is a word of advice. Switch your mindset before departure. Leave behind all negative thoughts and preconceptions you have before, and travel with an open mind, look for the positives, and you will find the true and pure happiness.
Enjoy the beautiful sceneries and old monasteries, and let your worries flutter away in the breeze as the colorful prayer flags do.
Life is a journey. To travel is to take a journey into yourself. Why not start your next travel adventure and experience pure happiness now? You can always reach us at for any enquiry and question.