When we were preparing to move we got this question quite a bit. It’s a third world country after all, and look at everything we would be giving up. Our lives would certainly be much more difficult.
It has not turned out to be so. I have written a number of times about how it feels different here, how the people are so lovely, how they are kind and gentle and happy. It’s hard to put into words but you can sure feel it when you are here.
Then, today, I saw THIS ARTICLE from CBS news about a Gallup poll that was done to determine who are the happiest people in the world. Who was at the top of the list? Yep, that’s right, PANAMA! Panama and Paraguay (in central South America between Brazil and Argentina).
Wealth, prosperity, all the usual things we are taught to strive for actually had little to do with the happiness level. In fact, some of the most developed and prosperous countries were low on the list. The happy people have a culture of focusing on the positive, strong families, good friends, and a lot of community involvement.
The US was #33. I don’t feel like we are giving up anything, and we are gaining a lot.