Good news for my home country: according to The World Happiness Report 2018 , Finland is the happiest country in the world! This news has been happily welcomed by all Finns, who are desperately waiting for the end of May, when spring finally begins.
70 % of the country I was born in is covered in trees. It also has many lakes (about 56 000 or 188 000, depending on your criteria). It is a great place for outdoor activities and for raising a family. It has high quality free basic education, relatively little inequality and very comprehensive social security. It’s not perfect, but compared with many other places, it’s very good.
So what’s wrong with me? I come from and love the country that invented Angry Birds, so why don’t I live there?
There are 4 reasons.
Reason number 1: My bad habit. Let me explain: as a child, I lived in South Asia for many years. When you have that international experience, it’s easy to continue moving to different countries, and it’s very hard to stop. After living in the Himalayas, it was hard to get used to Finland again. You get used to being a foreigner. It’s like a bad habit.
Reason number 2: Low self-esteem. The stereotypical Finn is very modest and has low self-esteem. I’m a Finn and I feel like I don’t deserve to live there.
Reason number 3: Self-preservation. I have terrible navigation skills. I can’t read a map. I’m not friends with Google Maps. Can you imagine my life in a place where there are 22 billion trees and only 5.5 million people?
Reason number 4: Children. Why don’t I want to raise my children in a country with an excellent education system? Because of the weather. Winters are very cold in Finland. There’s snow and ice. Kids wear a ski suit from October to April. It takes a long time to put them on every morning. It’s just too much work.
I’m sure the World Happiness Report is a very serious study, but I think you can live the happiest life possible in other places too. Maybe one day I will move back to Finland, but for now I am happy to be a foreigner in Spain. I enjoy its beautiful architecture and good wine. If I get lost, I know someone will help me because there is always someone around – always. And I feel happy knowing that my children can play in the plaza any month of the year while I have coffee and sit in the sun.
For an introduction to the happiest country in the world 2018, watch the video:
outdoor activities – physical activities done for fun in a natural environment, for example hiking, camping, fishing and kayaking
raising a family – having children and caring for them until they are adults
get used to being a foreigner – become accustomed to being a person from a different country
I don’t deserve to live there – I am not good enough to live there
ski suit – clothes intended for skiing or very cold winter weather
get lost – become lost; not know where you are