There is a general misconception in our capitalist society that people are happier in warm and sunny countries. That the climax of happiness is reached with a house on a private beach on some exotic island with 5 days of rain per year. But if you stop reading the news and get to think about it, that’s not true at all.
The grass is always greener on the other side
People like warm countries because that’s where they go on vacation. It breaks their routine. Anything that breaks your routine is something you wish you could do for the rest of your life. Except you don’t get to do that. And even if you did, you would be looking for something cold, to break your warm routine.
In the (great) movie “The Descendants” set in Hawaii, George Clooney plays an average Joe who has to deal with a shitty life. The movie starts with him saying that people think life in Hawaii is perfect. They think only good looking surfers live there, with no problems and big houses. But if you actually live in Hawaii, that’s not how it is at all. If you’re not here only 3 weeks a year to surf, your life is just as boring as on the other side of the globe.
There is another side to the coin
When people go on vacation in those “perfect” countries, they see and experience the good life. They only see the good looking hotel staff, the perfect weather, the white sand beaches, they eat the good food. They don’t see the poverty present in the majority of those “dream” countries. They don’t see the starving kids eating rotten food from the trash. They don’t see the polluted beaches either, on the other side of the island. And they don’t see the heavy rains that don’t stop for a week and swamp the whole place for months.
You only miss the sun when it starts to snow
If you miss the sun it’s because you don’t live in a sunny place. You need a bit of sun, but it is not all you need to be happy. As a person who lives in place with shitty weather (the UK for instance), you see the sun as a remedy to your misery because you notice it is lacking.
People in Hawaii will have a tendency to complain about the heat, and they would love to go on vacation in the UK.
The happiest places in the world have shitty weather
There have been many (serious) scientific studies to identify the happiest countries in the world. It turns out that all these studies tend to categorize the same countries as the happiest places to live in. All of them have shitty weather. Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland… Even worse, in the wintertime most of these countries barely get 4 hours of daylight.
Happiness is tough to measure
The studies conducted about happy countries take in consideration various factors. Perception of corruption, quality of healthcare, pollution, trust towards other people, politics… These won’t bring good weather, but they will contribute to an environment where you can feel happy and safe.
Appreciate what you have
In the end, the simple fact that you are reading this article probably means that you have it pretty good compared to the rest of the world. Remember to be grateful for what you have. Next time you go on vacation to a “paradise country”, take time to acknowledge the other side of the postcard.