Sure, if you like being happy, I guess it’s all fine and good. (Just trying my best to fit in with the low ranking of happiness in France, where happiness or positive thoughts may even be against the law.) Gallup has a new poll of happiest countries and the least happy. Latin America really stole the show, apparently.
From Gallup, here’s the list of top and bottom:
“In Guatemala, it’s a culture of friendly people who are always smiling,” said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. “Despite all the problems that we’re facing, we’re surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all.”
Gallup Inc. asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day.
In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.
Having spent a bit of time in Guatemala ten years ago, I agree, it’s a beautiful country and lovely people. Antigua Guatemala and Tikal are two favorite spots in my travels but there’s plenty more to see there. Somehow I need to find a way to get to a few more of the countries on the list, like the Philippines. Air miles, take me away.