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  • Writer's pictureJackie Almeida

Bhutan: The Peaceful Nation

True freedom is much more than having enough income and time to do what you want. Tim Ferriss

Do I miss traveling? I certainly do, if I could teleport to one place that I have been, Bhutan would definitely be the one.

With the lock-down in place, we all feel a bit nostalgic, and I have been reflecting on my journey and all the countries I visited and I continue to consider Bhutan the most special place. I close my eyes and feel that pure nature, right there between China and India surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. A country that many people don't even know exists, so small with great values.

Known as "The Land of the Thunder Dragon" or the "Happiest Country" in the world. For me, it was the most peaceful destination with lots of interesting things. 

What makes this country so special? 

  • Bhutanese people take nature conservation very seriously and by law 60 percent of the country must always be under forest cover.

  • When the King of Bhutan turned 40th he asked as gift for the citizens to plant trees or adopt an Animal. The population planted more than 108,000 in a day.

  • Bhutan has become a carbon negative country by absorbing more than 6 million tonnes of carbon per year.

  • First place in the world to ban plastic bags.

  • Is the only country in the world that completely bans the sale and production of tobacco and tobacco products.

  • Free healthcare and education. Ancient and traditional medicine as an option for free since the 1970s.

  • There are no traffic lights.

  • The male genital organ is the symbol of blessings and prosperity and you will find a penis at the entrance of every house.

  • Men and women can marry as many people as they wish (although they are losing the habit).

  • There is a Minister for happiness.

  • The internet and television arrived only in 1999

  • Only 1 international airport and only 8 pilots with extraordinary qualities can fly because it is located in the Himalayan region and it is not so easy to take off or land there. The danger is such that only daytime flights are allowed.

  • Bhutan only opened the door to tourism in 1974 and yet make the visa process difficult, requiring all nationalities to go through an expensive, limited, and rules-based visa system (except India). Not because they are not receptive, just for the preservation of culture and territory...

So, what do you think? Does it sound like a third world country? Too conservative or old-fashioned? In the Western we just have the illusion that we are free, but are we? How is your mental state, how is your health, are you a slave of your phone?  Do you bond with nature? Can you go to your doctor without thinking about your medical bill? Do you feel free at all? In Bhutan you can have all this! Just imagine when an entire country focuses on the preservation of nature, respect of animals and considers happiness more important than the gross domestic product. It all shows that they are way more modern and evolved on the human scale. I truly believe this is one of the most free countries that I have ever been.

A world apart where I can't express how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to have visited and taken with me memories that will remain forever. The sights, the manifestation of the stunning nature, the smile on the faces of the locals, the tasty and spicy food.

It is said that travel is what makes you rich if you go to Bhutan consider yourself a King because the wealth you will acquire there is beyond anything you can expect.

Jackie :)


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