After getting married 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to travel around the world for 500 days. It sounds a bit crazy, but we were courageous enough to do that. We are both from Brazil and we don’t have children yet, and especially Mauricio, my husband, always dreamed about doing that. Lots of planning, saving money, organizing our budget, managing our work and we were ready for the adventure that started in August, 2014. We had passed for 15 countries and more than 93 cities when we arrived in Bhutan. I can say for sure that Bhutan is unique, different from any other country that we have been.
Before visit Bhutan, I was curious to understand how would be living in a country that measures its development with a Happiness Gross. In Brazil, I spoke to some people that are implementing the Bhutanese indicators in small countryside villages and for me this is challenging but also fascinating. When I arrived to Paro Airport, anxious to know more about that, one guide asked me: “What´s happiness for you?” I kept that in my mind.
In Bhutan I saw workers confident of their jobs, families united having fun together, people very proud of their King, children playing with us, laughing, even without understanding what we were saying, young people very concentrated in their studies, friendly monks, volunteers helping everywhere, friends of the police and the community, elderly people always with a smile in their faces, streets without traffic lights working fine, no horns, beautiful traditional outfits (Gho and Kira), lots of people attending the Festival (Paro Tshechu), proud of their culture, respect for the environment, faith and spirituality.
We can find those things in other places but is very hard to seem all of them together. Even considering happiness such a complex concept, I could understand why Bhutan is well known for been the kingdom of happiness.
All the GNH (Gross National Happiness) pillars are very important, but in my opinion sustainable development should be the main concern for the entire world. It is also the more comprehensive, and for me it includes the other 3 pillars (Preservation and promotion of culture, Conservation of environment and Good Governance). We urge to change our behaviour and start to create a better Planet for next generations. I think many countries have a lot to learn with the Bhutanese example.
Congratulations and please keeping spreading your example to the world.
Giuliana Preziosi and Mauricio Cichitosi from “Stories around the Word” (Histórias pelo Mundo www.historiaspelomundo.com). Visited Bhutan with Adventure Planet Travels from March 30 to April 4, 2015.