Why I Believe Costa Rica is the Happiest Country
Could it be true that it is one of the happiest countries?
National Geographic has just ranked Costa Rica as one of the happiest countries for 2017. This article comes at a perfect time for me. Returning from a trip to Mexico this week, I am reflecting on my move to Costa Rica last year. There are so many ways that Costa Rica – for me – is the most amazing place on earth.
A little back story – moving to Costa Rica
Last year I decided to move full time to Costa Rica from Canada. This was the scariest decision I ever made – even scarier because I could never leave behind my 130 pound German Shepherd, Bosley. His move went off effortlessly and now he has joined his little brother in Costa Rica. Bosley, I believe thinks he won the lottery. With 2 beach walks a day, long swims in the rivers, boat rides, and constant exploration of waterfalls and jungles. Bosley is also a town celebrity where we live, children stop to take pictures with him, we walk down the street and locals are staring and commenting “que lindo”. He is huge, I am little biased, but he is also so beautiful!
Randall and I travelled to Mexico to visit catamaran operations there and return with new ideas for our own Catamaran company here in Costa Rica. We returned with fresh ideas, but also more appreciation for our Country. I also returned knowing that Costa Rica is most likely the only place I could ever move to and feel like home.
THE 7 KEYS TO SURVEYING HAPPINESS – ACCORDING TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AUTHER DAN BUETTNER
The community in Costa Rica is beautiful, the people are wonderful. I compare this to Canada a lot because there is such a sense of community and togetherness. There is no greater feeling of community than experiencing significant loss.
Costa Rica just experienced a Tropical Storm in October, as a Canadian this was an extremely scary event for me. I have never experienced entire houses float away beside a river, houses flooded to the roof tops, and families without food, water, or electricity for days.
In Costa Rica though these devastating situations are made easier as the community and your neighbours generously give food, water or anything they can afford to help. Locals quickly set up money and food drives. Locals even set up money drives to help animals and the environment during natural disasters.
2. LIVING IN A COMMUNITY THAT SUPPORTS WELL-BEING
I have not owned a bike since I was 12 years old, the first thing I did when I moved to Costa Rica. Bought a bike. I run most my errands on my bike, even in the pouring rain. Moving has taught me many lessons about enjoying life, rain or shine. Most of the traffic is bike traffic in towns in Costa Rica. Health and wellness are a part of everyones day. It is not uncommon for all your neighbours to have a daily walk that lasts 3 hours every morning.
3. ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS
In Costa Rica there is a farmers market or a local veggie shop on every corner. “Sin ingredientes artificiales” is a common saying here meaning “without artificial ingredients”. We use this saying for many things, to describe life, and food. I never need to worry again about where my fruit came from, it comes from my neighbours feilds.
The main difference when I moved to Costa Rica is that I never crave take-out, and we hardly ever eat out. I also am not as hungry, I give credit to the quality of nutrients in the vegetables and fruits here.
Sleep was something I was highly deprived off in Canada. Working 15 hour days, constantly on the go, chasing life and following the rat race. I did not realize what good sleep was until I moved to Costa Rica. The sun sets early everyday and generally go to sleep much earlier here. I sleep 8 hours every night, and it is the most restful sleep. Good nutrients, or a more active life? Less stress? Yes to all the above!
5. FOCUS ON GOALS – FOCUS ON HAPPINESS
In Costa Rica, with amazing sleep and great quality food I believe this leads to better quality mental state. I am clear – able to focus and achieve goals quicker and much more easy.
In Canada there is a deep sense of community, however, most of the time we never take time to truly engage with people. Here, in Costa Rica people take time to drink their coffee, stop and say hi to a neighbour or catch the sunset with a good friend.
7. LOVE SOMEONE
I believe this is an experience felt everywhere in the world, not just Costa Rica. However it is one of the most beautiful experiences in life – to love and be loved. It is also one of the top ways that researchers gage happiness and quality of life.
I have learned many lessons living in Costa Rica, one of the most special lessons I have learned is that I need zero material objects to live a good life. The good things in life really do come free. Community, Friendship and Love.
To read the amazing original National Geographic article follow this link https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/11/worlds-happiest-places/