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The Happiest Countries on Earth


Countries in the past have one priority – economic growth. There came to a point where the governments trampled on other objectives just to increase the GDP. This prioritization led to the declining of social conditions and worsening of climate change. You have to know that GDP growth does not automatically mean better life for the residents.

The good news now is that there are organizations that conducted studies and gave role models to other countries when it comes to overall wellbeing of the people not just the economy. Have you heard about the Happy Planet Index (HPI)? HPI just released their list of 2016’s Happiest Countries on Earth. The list seeks to give guidance to other countries when it comes to the wellbeing of their residents.

HPI has four measures that they collated to come up with their results – wellbeing (from Gallup World Poll), Life Expectancy (from United Nations), Inequality of Outcomes and Ecological Footprint (from Global Footprint Network). You will be surprised of the results. The number one Happiest Country on Earth is Costa Rica who abolished its army to give more room for healthcare and education followed by Mexico, Colombia, Vanuatu and Vietnam. Here is half of the list:

  1. Panama: Panama is the sixth Happiest Country on Earth with reported good levels of wellbeing.


  1. Nicaragua: Although the country was ravished by civil war in the 60’s and 70’s, it did not break their spirit. The country boasts of good scores in terms of life expectancy and wellbeing regardless of their low GDP.


  1. Bangladesh: Yes, Bangladesh has low GDP but it does not mean people there are unhappy. In fact they are the eighth Happiest Country on Earth. Despite the limited resources and maximizing it, the country have low ecological footprint. If you compare their life expectancy to other countries (with akin GDP), they are better.

  1. Thailand: Thailand is the ninth Happiest Country on Earth because of their high life expectancy plus the income inequality is low.


  1. Ecuador: Ecuador is the tenth Happiest Country on Earth. The country entered the top list for the first time. It is said that the success can be attributed to the government’s policy of Beun Vivir or the good living. This philosophy is their guide in the conduct of their daily life.


  1. Jamaica: Jamaica is not rich with its relatively low GDP but it doesn’t mean other aspects are low. In fact, they are the eleventh Happiest Country on Earth because of its high life expectancy and lesser ecological footprint.

Where does Singapore fall? It is not yet included in the top 10 list but the city state has come so far now. No doubt it will top this index one of these days.

Costly Mistakes a Traveller Must Discontinue


When you travel especially alone, you cannot possibly oversee everything. You are not perfect and there are numerous times that you realized you made costly travel slipups. These slipups are normal but you do not want a financial slipup at the end of the day. It is time that you are aware of some financial oversights that you commit and discontinue it for the sake of your next trip.


Here are some costly mistakes you must discontinue right away:

Booking flights too late or too early

Booking your flight too late as in on the day of your travel will surely cost you. This is also true booking a year or two in advance. In fact, there is a big chance that you will miss your flight if you book too early. With this, you have to know the best time to book your tickets. Actually experts recommend that you book at least 6 to 8 weeks before your scheduled travel. Do not be afraid because every now and then airlines throw flight promotions so be sure to keep tabs and act right away.

Not considering hostels

You spend most of your money with your accommodation and to think you only use it for sleeping and taking a bath. Do not commit this mistake again. Instead of choosing boutique hotels, why not try hostels? In the past, hostels have this image of crummy bunk beds with bed bugs. You will be surprised to know that these days, hostels come with many amenities from cable television, hot and cold shower, bike rentals, free wi-fi, free breakfast and the like. The best part is you pay cheaply.


Taking taxi most of the time

Yeah, you will surely get tired of commuting. Commuting in another country is twice as exhausting because you have to be observant and be on your guard. The quickest and most comfortable solution is you take taxi most of the time. You will end up spending more if the driver know you are new. No matter how tiring, take the public transport.

Dining at restaurants

Unless you are a foodie or your ultimate goal is to eat in all Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, you should by all means dine exclusively at restaurants. If you are traveller and you want to be immersed in the country’s culture and cuisine, some good foods can be found without paying too much. Trying local flavours is cheap plus you are one step closer to knowing the culture of the place.

Knowing these, your ultimate goal should be – steering clear of costly travel slipups. Good luck on your next trip!

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