The Five Happiest Places in the World to Beat the January Blues
Hello January! While the New Year is well and truly here, are you feeling a bit deflated? The removal of Christmas decorations, the return to work, the slimmer wallets, the rigid diet – it’s little wonder the January blues is an actual condition, which one in twenty people suffer from.
But it needn't be all doom and gloom when the world's your oyster, and certainly when there are statistically happier places where the cheery local folk will provide a genuine warm welcome to help turn that frown upside down.
To this end the Flexicover Teams has selected some of the countries highlighted in the 2015 survey of the world’s happiest countries that taking a trip to just might help to beat those January blues.
The Central American country is officially the happiest country in the world, but the positive atmosphere isn't the only reason to visit. Panama is most famous for its canal, and tourists will find it spellbinding to watch ships filter through its narrow waters. The city itself is starkly divided into an old and new town, and both are equally intriguing. While the new city is a testament to Panama's ambition, the old part, Casco Viejo, is filled with lively, rustic neighbourhoods, vibrant orange Spanish architecture and family-run coffee cafes and shops. Taste local life, and it's impossible not to be cheered.
Panama's happiness radiates to its Costa Rican neighbours, one of the most stable and safe countries in Latin America. Of course it helps that the country is abundant with coffee and chocolate - who wouldn't have a skip in their step when both are readily available and world-class. The Costa Rican's sunny disposition is evident in their friendliness - nothing is too much trouble for their friends and friends-in-waiting. The worry-free mood is so universal here that the national phrase is Pura Vida, literally meaning 'pure life'. But really it reflects their laid-back, priorities-in-order attitude to life.
It's hard not to be cheery on an island that houses some phenomenal natural wonders. Most of its five million visitors annually come for its bioluminescent shores off the coast of Vieques, which glow in the dark because of its plankton-filled ecosystem. Others are there to dive around its beautiful shores, or hike a stretch of the breathtaking hills and mountains found more centrally. Throw in a cultural acceptance of chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you've got the hallmarks of a very happy holiday.
Europe's only entry in the top five might not be the most obvious at first. After all, Spain, Portugal and Italy all have warmer climates and more daylight in winter. But Switzerland's strong economy has made the country one of the happiest. The Swiss not only can boast having some of the lowest working hours but also enjoy having one of the highest pay levels too. Good for them - but for visitors and residents alike, the Swiss Alps scenery of white-tipped mountain ranges and lush green trees are famous the world over for inspiring peace in even the most stressed-out commuter. Experience the vistas and crisp air for yourself to see what a difference it can make.
The January blues are kick-started by the lack of sun, so it's only a small surprise that four of the top five countries are close to the equator in Latin America. Belize soaks up 11 hours of sunny daylight in January, at a time when Brits get six hours of grey sky at best. Get in on their action by paying Belize a visit, and while you're there, don't forget to dive in the Blue Hole, a 1000ft-wide sinkhole in the sea that's home to incredible underwater scenes and marine life like sharks, groupers and colourful fish. Belize is also the only English speaking country in Latin America, meaning there's not even a language barrier to overcome.
We all know that travel is good for the soul so don’t let those January blues get you down! Take the bull by the horns and head away to enjoy sunnier climes, friendly locals and amazing scenery! And remember that Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day when away.
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