Monday, June 13, 2011

Ten Places To Travel For Happiness

With it long coastline and beautiful scenery. The great trip is to just go up Route 1, ideally late spring or early fall. You can drive from Boston to Portland and then just keep going along, Freeport, Brunswick, Rockland, up past Camden, then Bar Harbor. It goes all the way to Canada.

Orkney Islands, UK
Hard to get to but worth the trip, these mostly uninhabited 70 islands off the coast of Scotland. Visit Skara Brae, a Neolithic settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the lovely harbor at Kirkwall, the largest town. People have been living there since prehistoric times and they have produced a lot of poets, writers, and musicians. Lots of fresh fish available for seafood lovers.

Long a fantasy vacation destination, then give Bali a try. It has grace and aesthetic appeal. The colors, the artistic sense of the Balinese. Weaving, carving, dancing, play instruments, and singing are some of the talents of the Balinese. The houses are beautiful, the clothes are beautiful, the temples, and the wonderful dances and ceremonies. Many travelers head to Bali's beaches but traditional crafts and ceremonies can best be seen inland around the town of Ubud.

Costa Rica
Guanacaste on the northwest Pacific coast. It has many resorts, is on the Pan American Highway and is easily accessible by air from the USA. Happiness here is related to simplicity.

It has one of the oldest cultures on Earth, plus a friendly populace and welcoming feel. Egypt has the world's treasures, thousands of years of accumulation of Egyptian culture, the Pharaonic culture, not just the Pyramids, but temples all along the Nile, from Alexandria on the Mediterranean to Aswan and on to Abu Simbel. Numerous tour operators offer river cruises and guided excursions along the Nile.

Thailand is both famously foreigner-friendly and inexpensive, making it attractive to expats in retirement. The welcome, the food, the educated populace and the weather, but also the immense variety of travel opportunities. There is coastal Thailand, jungle Thailand, mountainous Thailand, and if you're there you can easily visit Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, or India.

Small villages are self-contained societies that take care of their own. Take a visit to Lake Malawi, a very big, deep lake, with hotels all along the lake shore. The game parks in the north where you can see elephants and giraffes and other animals.

First-timers should make sure to visit multiple islands, as they're all different. Each island has its own character, its own sense of pride. If you're not happy on one island, just find another.

Sicily, Italy
The food in Sicily, the wine, the weather, the crops they grow, all are wonderful things. It's a very hospitable place, and Palermo is one of the great cities of Italy and of Europe too. Because of its proximity to North Africa, it's different from the rest of Italy. To get there via ferry from Sardinia, train from Naples, or on a cruise ship.

Trobriand Islands
Also known as the Kiriwina Islands, complex Pacific society off the coast of New Guinea. This is a place where people feel welcome. The people of Trobriand Islands are perfectly content with what they have. It is far offshore and a hard place to get to, but worth it.