As a travel writer, I am often conflicted. I am lucky enough to discover some of the greatest places in the world and when I find a secret spot, I usually have to share it. Bhutan is an amazing place that I have been aware of for some time. I didn’t want to write about it because if its beauty is discovered by too many it will be in danger. However, as Lonely Planet has made it their number 1 destination for 2020, I might as well tell you all about it.
Bhutan is an incredible place that should be seen by everyone in the world, I was wrong to try and keep it a secret. It is a place of incredible beauty and culture but it has more than one lesson to teach us all. The main lesson it can teach us is about what to prioritize in our own lives. If you are someone who is always chasing that next promotion, who wants to have the best gadget in their home, who wants more, then maybe Bhutan is the place for you.
Bhutan is a Buddhist country and the country is run with Buddhist philosophy. The country has rejected the standard measure of performance used by every country in the world. They do not care what the Gross Domestic Product is for the nation, they do not care how much money is generated each year, they just care how happy the inhabitants are. This may sound like something you would hear at a yoga retreat but it is a policy that the Kingdom of Bhutan has put in place and is actively measuring. They have chosen nine key points that they measure and they include health, wellbeing, use of time, education, diversity, governance, community strength, living standards, and the environment. These nine measures dictate whether they are happy with how the country is being run or not. So far every time they have measured, it has been improving.
The incredible approach is not the only reason to visit the country. The people are some of the most welcoming and kind people in the world. They will take you into their homes and treat you like a member of their family. The country is incredibly beautiful as well. Nature is given priority across the country so the place is a splendor of green trees, blue waters, and tall mountains.
The pace in Bhutan moves a little slower than many countries. They once installed a set of traffic lights in the main square but later had them removed because they caused too much stress. Do not go there if you are someone who is always in a hurry, your needs won’t be met. Go there if you have an open mind and if you are willing to learn from another culture.
While Bhutan has previously been an undiscovered gem, its position in Lonely Planet will now likely make many tourists start to flock there. In the past, the Bhutan government has had a limit on how many tourist visas were issued and we can only hope that continues in the future. It is important that the tranquility and peace that Bhutan offers is not disturbed by too many tourists.
Even if you are unable to visit Bhutan in the near future, you can still learn a lot from the country. Take a look at your own life and examine what it is that you really prioritize. So many of us say that we value our happiness but spend most of our days chasing something else. Take a note from the people of Bhutan and live your life to the fullest.