The Danish way of life has always appealed to me! And another visit to the capital Copenhagen has confirmed that somewhere I have Danish genes!!!
This time round, my third visit, I felt very at home - able to get around on my own either on foot or by bike and really started to live rather than just visit.
There is no secret to the fact that the Danes are consistently in the Top 5 of happiest people in the world and Denmark in the Top 10 of best countries to live!
I just took some time to sit and observe them and it's simple!
Firstly, they know how to enjoy life. They take time out to enjoy life - more specifically time together, quality time. This is apparent as there are many places to eat, drink coffee and socialise and that’s what the Danes do. There are not many people on their own. There are huddles and groups and families and couples and not just at eateries - walking together, sitting together, cycling together!
I was lucky enough to be there on the summer solstice celebrations and celebrate they do!! The four Copenhagen Lakes are an area designed to promote social interaction and recreation and the paths surrounding them are popular for strolls and a favoured running route. During the summer solstice celebrations the banks of the Lakes gradually filled with people, families, children, pets, friends, work colleagues, students - laying out picnics, bottles of wine and just hanging out! And there were not any phones, no iPads, no laptops - these people were actually talking to each other!!!
The buzz and atmosphere was amazing and this is why the Danes are happy - they enjoy each others company - they are never in a rush - they don’t feel the need to fill their free time with shopping or running their kids around from activity to activity - they don’t do overtime and they don’t spend hours sitting in traffic jams!!! As a nation they are a unit and experience solidarity and security as a result.
This brings me onto the second reason - they are active. Danes cycle - everywhere!! Or they walk - everywhere! They are dedicated to exercise and physical wellbeing and regard it as a crucial part of daily life. They have outdoor spaces, parks and beaches that are there and have been built to provide a place to be active. There are no excuses, no reasons not to be healthy.
Lastly, I do believe that the Danes do not just expect happiness - they work on it daily! They strive to do good, to be good, to achieve but also to spend time appreciating what they have - not stressing about what they don’t have!!!