What are the most important things you look for when choosing a vacation destination? Do you travel to explore new places or make new friends? Do you want to learn about new cultures and history?
Maybe you travel simply to have a break. Or if you are like many older women, your desire is to challenge or amplify your personal views and experience transformation as a gift of travel.
The bottom line is that, for most of us, travel is an escape from the stress and routine of our every day lives. We simply want to enjoy a few weeks of happiness!
So, if following your bliss fuels your passion for travel, why not head for the countries who claim to have the happiest people on earth? After all, it seems totally logical that happy people are more likely to welcome visitors as friends and focus on making their holiday a happy experience!
Road Scholar understands this psychology of travel. For over 40 years, they have been offering hundreds of unique global itineraries that focus on all these motivations for travel.
So, how on earth can you know in advance how kind, welcoming and happy people will be? Data to the rescue! The World Happiness Report reports every year on the countries that have a high happiness factor.
In 2017, the five happiest countries were not the tropical beach destinations you might expect. In fact, the five countries with the highest happiness quotient are some of the coldest and most remote countries in the world, experiencing dark winters and icy snow!
These five happy countries are Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.
Happy countries rank highly on all the factors found to support happiness. This includes putting a focus on values like caring, freedom, generosity and honesty.
The countries also put a strong emphasis on fair governance and social infrastructure. Their governments offer excellent healthcare, childcare and housing programs.
As you might expect, tourism is also big business for all these top 5 countries.
Road Scholar understands that travel for older adults is multi-dimensional. They know that putting a focus on learning and adventure adds a dimension of fun and happiness to a vacation experience.
In fact, they have been offering learning programs in the happiest countries in the world for years! Here is how they invite you to explore these five popular destinations!
If exploring spectacular fjords, glaciers and vibrant Northern Lights is your idea of happiness, there is a perfect Road Scholar program for you called Spectacular Fjords and the Coastline of Norway.
I have taken a cruise in this part of the world myself and can personally attest to its life changing power. The majesty and strength of Mother Nature and the beautiful connection of people to the earth is breath-taking!
If you want to go even a little further north and experience the pure magic of the Land of the Midnight Sun, the Majestic Norway – North Cape and Beyond program might be your idea of picture-perfect happiness.
Denmark is a wonderfully eclectic country and its capital Copenhagen a colorful collage of bicycle-crazed residents, bridges, royal palaces and gardens!
The colorful Nyhavn harbour and Tivoli amusement park will enchant you and who can forget the iconic “Little Mermaid” statue.
The philosophy of cosy, loving Hygge is prevalent everywhere! Road Scholar takes full advantage of what vibrant Copenhagen has to offer in this fabulous program called Vibrant Copenhagen and Stockholm.
When we hear about Iceland, we think of icy cold tundra, fjords and waterfalls. But it really is a land of contrasts and sheer natural beauty.
Iceland has verdant vegetation and stunning geological landscapes. From the coast to the Blue Lagoon, it is not surprising that Iceland is such a popular travel destination these days.
Road Scholar’s Best of Iceland – Country of Beautiful Contrasts is a great way to experience happiness in the sheer beauty of Mother Nature!
Since I live in Switzerland, I can speak personally about how wonderful it is. I make it a mission to visit one new town or city every week and the amazingly efficient train system makes that possible.
It’s no wonder people are happy in Switzerland. From snow-covered peaks, rolling green hills and intriguing medieval cities and cathedrals. Cities like Zurich and Luzern will take your breath away!
Road Scholar agrees that one of the best ways to explore the secret places in Switzerland is by train. Their program Switzerland in a Nutshell – Cities and Peaks by Train looks spectacular!
Finland is one of those places that conjures up images of the majestic and magical Northern Lights, on the bucket list of so many older women!
Its Artic climate and national parks offer a connection to nature that is breath-taking. Its forests create a winter wonderland.
Its capital Helsinki, is a beautiful city by the sea with intriguing architecture, stunning cathedral and ancient culture.
The Road Scholar program called Seaside Capitals of the Baltic is a great way to explore Helsinki along with Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm.
If you want a total happiness hit, Road Scholar offers one program that gives you the opportunity to experience the capitals of 3 of these five happy countries – with Stockholm, Sweden added for good luck! You can experience the Nordic lifestyle in the four capital cities of Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki.
These countries may all be classified as the world’s most happy countries, but they are all very different.
This program allows you to discover what makes them all so unique and enjoy a journey of culture and history.
Would you like to visit any of the world’s happiest countries – Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland or Finland? What was your experience? Please take a moment to join the conversation below.
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