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Envisioning a post-pandemic getaway? Let the World Happiness Report 2021 inspire your impending vacation. (Don't forget to invest in one of the best travel pillows on the market while you're at it.)
To the delight of those with incurable wanderlust, the United Nations has sought to uncover the happiest countries in the world on an annual basis. However, its Sustainable Development Solutions Network experienced a challenge like no other while working on its ninth World Happiness Report due to the pandemic.
Despite the hardships we experienced in 2020, the global initiative made some tweaks to its research, took the current global situation into consideration, and still managed to present us with some interesting findings.
So, which countries made the cut? Drumroll, please!
For the fourth year in a row, Finland has claimed the top spot on the list, and the country is touting its accomplishment on its tourism website. Rightfully so! A combination of natural wonders and a lifestyle immersed in nature have made it a desirable location for global visitors. We're already dreaming about a visit to a few of the country's 40 national parks.
Many flock to the Nordic nation with hopes of catching a glimpse of the beautiful Northern Lights, but that's just one thing to look forward to while there. The Golden Circle's lava fields, the Gullfoss Waterfall, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon are other spots to put on your must-see list.
Castles, beaches, gardens, national parks—there's a little bit of everything in Denmark. Plus, Copenhagen has really garnered attention from international travelers pre-pandemic.
Zurich and Geneva have long been on our to-see list. Plus, Switzerland is the place to go if you love winter sports. (Don't sweat it: other seasons are just as stunning in this country.)
Anyone else fancy a trip to Amsterdam when we get the green light to travel?
Stockholm is considered one of the most welcoming cities on the planet, and from the looks of it, it is also one of the most picturesque.
Royal palaces, the Achterwasser Lagoon, The UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Germany—there's plenty to keep your time occupied in this country.
From natural wonders to arts and culture spaces, Norway will keep everyone in your family entertained, no matter their interests.
9. New Zealand
Serene beaches, picture-worthy fjords, and lush wilderness are all waiting in New Zealand.
Skiing, hiking, lake excursions—they're all on the itinerary in Austria.
Not only has this year's report given us insight about where to book our next adventure (when it is safe to do so, of course), but it shows us what needs to be done as we transition back to a sense of normalcy after the pandemic.
"The World Happiness Report 2021 reminds us that we must aim for wellbeing rather than mere wealth, which will be fleeting indeed if we don’t do a much better job of addressing the challenges of sustainable development,” Jeffrey Sachs, senior UN advisor and economist, said in a statement.
Have you decided which spots are on your list? Ideally, we'd like to hit all 10!
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, where she particularly enjoys covering lifestyle and entertainment news. She was previously the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. When she's not working, you can find her reading a good book and enjoying a cup of coffee. Follow her @dvwrites.
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