Costa Rica: a journey to pure happiness?

What do humans need to be happy? And what is actually “happiness”? An intern searching for luck and Pura vida.

Everyone wants it, but few claim to have it – luck! Numerous discussions, hollywood films, literatures and social networks are dominated and filled by this one feeling. A few days ago even an event called “International day of happiness” took place. One thing is for sure: not a goal in one’s life is more desirable than the feeling of happiness.

Happiness is nothing but the courageous will to live basically, by assuming the conditions of life,” the French writer Maurice Barrès (1862 – 1923) once defined the term “happiness”. In Bhutan happiness was even appointed as important national topic. So the king of Buthan said in the ’70s: “Gross National Happiness is more important than gross domestic product.”

Is luck measurable?

Is luck just a matter of perception or is it even measurable? According to the World Happiness Report, there are some factors, such as e.g. the freedom of making your own choices, social welfare and the general life expectancy, where you can determine the happiness of society. For the fourth time this index was created by the Earth Institute at Columbia University New York and published by the UN. So where in the world do the happiest people live? Due this review more than 160 countried were examined more closely.

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Ticos are happier than Germans

Germany was ranked on place 16, just before was Costa Rica, which leads us to the question “Why”? Sure, some points are obvious. With around 30 degrees all year, an average of 10 hours sunshine and fantastic natural settings, it is difficult to find a fly in the ointment. But are there really just these circumstances that make life worth living in Costa Rica? And what does the well-known phrase “Pura Vida!” actually means?

“Pura Vida” – the key to happiness?

Well, first thing I had to learn as a typical German arriving in Costa Rica: not everything has to be”quick, quick” – the optimistic phrase of the locals, named as Ticos, “Pura Vida!” is not only a way of life, it is rather an answer to a greeting, the question of the mood, the weather or the food. Life’s like that, it comes as it is – and that is a good thing. Inflation, crime or poverty make part of the daily routine as going to the beach and lounging in the sun.

While serving an internship in Costa Rica at Hotel Paraiso del Cocodrilo, I have already made my first experiences with this attitude in the first three weeks. In the coming days I will take the time to keep you up to date about my experiences and adventures in beautiful Guanacaste.

What does a person need to be happy? I don’t have the answer, but in my opinion it depends on the character and way of life of all the different human beings. For one person happiness is success, for another one health or love. Maybe it’s just “Pura Vida!” human need to be happy. If this isn’t a motivation to immigrate to Costa Rica? Embrace your personal happiness and most import: don’t take yourself too seriously.

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