G’Day Mate Indeed: Australia Voted Happiest Place on Earth
If you’re desperately seeking to be happy, you’ve come to the right place. Kind of. Though I can’t personally lead you there like a modern-day prophet, I can tell you which locale has been voted the happiest place on Earth (for a third year in a row, no less). And no, it isn’t Disneyland.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Better Life Index, Australia has taken that title yet again for 2013. The annual index ranks the world’s 34 industrialized economies based on criteria such as jobs, health, environment, education and income.
More than 73% of Australia’s 23 million citizens from the ages of 15 to 64 have a paid job, have a life expectancy of at least 82 and the economy has had more than two decades of growth due to the demand for its natural resources.
The Land Down Under also happens to breed some of the world’s friendliest, most adventurous residents — and I’m not just talking about the men.
I spent a month traveling from Melbourne to the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney and beyond in 2011 on my own and couldn’t have felt safer or more welcome than I have anywhere else in the world.
Everyone I spoke to was so open, so naturally curious, so wonderfully accepting. It’s rare when American women aren’t standoffish upon first meeting, and I was happily surprised to find that it was, indeed, possible to make great female friends in Australia (Michelle Behsman of the gorgeous Thala Beach Lodge, that means you).
Which leads me, of course, to the men. Australian men are tops. Pardon my Dark Age throwback here, but Australian blokes are what men should be: boisterous, rugged, manly and athletic. In general (though there are, of course, exceptions to every rule as I’m so fond of saying), they are quick to laugh, ready to enjoy themselves and though they might look good in a three-piece Tom Ford suit, they’re much more comfortable in board shorts and sunnies.
Thus, here’s the bottom line: if you’re in a love rut — and even if you’re not — visit Australia. Those who enjoy the ocean boys, head to the Reef, the Gold Coast or Sydney. If cultured city boys are your thing, take a stroll through Melbourne. If you’re a wino, make sure to drink up some fine-looking connoisseurs in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys.
What I’m saying is in Australia, you can’t go wrong. The men (the people) the weather and the scenery are all ace. You need only visit to see why it’s the happiest place on Earth. This gal couldn’t be happier to have made the journey.
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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.