Traveler's Test

8 philosophies of a happy life from around the world

8 philosophies of a happy life from around the world

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You don’t have to be a philosopher to find a brand new philosophy of a happy life, and experience it as you travel free from cares and non-philosophically. In many places in the world, they’ve had it figured for many years.

Here are our favorite picks of local wisdom:

Pura vida in Costa Rica

Pura vida simply translated in English is pure life, but the phrase actually has a far deeper meaning. Costa Ricans use it to say hello, to say bye or as an answer to the question How are you?. Pura vida is in fact a way of life, where you accept that no matter how difficult, your life is not that bad at all.

>>> Read more about Pura vida.

Dolce far niente in Italy

Dolce far niente literally means sweet doing nothing” and the Italians, especially in the southern part of the country, know how to turn idleness into a happy occupation. This philosophy of life contains a number of important prohibitions, such as no haste, no taking problems to heart and no paying attention to the surrounding nuisance.

>>> Read more about Dolce far niente.

Hakuna matata in Africa

Thanks to the animated film The Lion King” everybody knows a bit of Swahili. Hakuna matata means no problem”, “no worries. The phrase is used mainly in Kenya and Zanzibar and is mentioned in the famous “Jambo Bwana” song.

Tri Hita Karana in Bali

If harmony means happiness, then this philosophy of life from Bali will help you achieve it. In English, Tri Hita Karana means three reasons for well-being” – being in harmony with people, in harmony with God and in harmony with nature.

Aylyak in Bulgaria

Aylyak is an untranslatable Bulgarian word which can be roughly translated as “the art of doing everything at a relaxed pace without worrying about anything”. The Aylyak lifestyle is mainly typical for the residents of the city of Plovdiv famous for taking long, leisurely walks back and forth along their main pedestrian street.

>>> Read more about aylyak.

Fernweh in Germany

English doesnt have an antonym of nostalgia” but in German it’s Fernweh. It means a strong desire for traveling, dreaming of far and unknown lands and new experiences. So give in to your Fernweh and hit the road.

Friluftsliv in Norway

Theres no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. True to this principle, the Norwegians are fans of Friluftsliv or life in free” air (“open-air living). The northern countrys inhabitants appreciate the benefits of spending time in the open for health and well-being, regardless of weather conditions. Whether it is running, cycling or just going out to the park nearby to take some photos – the important thing is to breathe fresh air.

Wabi-Sabi in Japan

Salvador Dali once said Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. This is exactly what the Japanese idea Wabi-Sabi tries to convey. In English it means accept imperfection” and applies to the individual body and character, friends and life in general.


  • comment-avatar

    Love this. My motto is Travel Happy, in whatever language around the world.

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