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Does your country make you happy?

The first suggestion I got on my YouTube front page, was a video about Why Finland and Denmark are happier than The U.S.

What does it take to be happy?
The Nordic countries have it all figured out.
These countries have been dominating the World’s Happiest Countries list for years. 

While this question can be answered differently by individuals, the general research says that there are 6 depending factors:

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Looking at these 6 factors, there are things I can say without too much research.

First off, Investopedia tells us that the United States is higher in the list of GDP per capita than either of these countries.
Second, Finland has a higher suicide rating than the U.S.

Now, all these statistics are wonderful for sure, but more valuable might be the opinion of someone who has experienced all these “benefits”.
I am not sure if I am the best choice since I haven’t been able to find my rose-coloured glasses since pretty much the day I was born.
But it is the only option I can serve for you right now 😉

Another thing to keep in mind is that I am not a native.
I have lived for a total of 5 years in Denmark.
During this time I was a tax paying adult.
So I will share my vision based on those facts.

The first untrue statement I have to disappoint you with, is that healthcare is for free.
I don’t know who keeps spreading this fairly tale, but IT IS NOT!
True, if you choose to pay for a health insurance (approx. 130 USD/month) and you end up in hospital, you won’t end up broke.
But also that part won’t be without any kind of pay.

I have learned this lesson when someone called an ambulance when I was on my period.
My monthly occasions tend to be a bit more extreme, so I can imagine that someone gets worried when I look like I am going to die.
But due to their good care, it was me who ended up paying 300 USD for bleeding out of my “down there”.

Also, if you ever experience tooth ache, I recommend you not to fix in Denmark.
They are all private practices and not covered by any kind of insurance.
I paid 2500 USD for a root canal treatment.
Not only that is an insane amount of money, but they also told me they only had a spot for me one week later.
I couldn’t deal with that amount of pain, so I called several different dentists.
Luckily there was one could take me in the day after.
When it was fixed, I called my original dentist and they got angry.
I was accused of being an unfaithful costumer.

And this story brings me to the next topic: Corruption.
Without thinking anyone would say that corruption is no good.
But have you ever found yourself in a situation benefiting from it?

I was visiting Bosnia, with yet another massive toothache.
Initially the dentist didn’t have time for me that day, but when I shoved a 50 euro bill her way, she was willing to skip her lunch break and fix my tooth.

A Dane will NEVER skip or postpone their lunch.
If you plan a meeting between 11:30 and 12:30, they will simply decline.
Also half an hour before they are planning to leave the office, they are preparing for that occasion.
So don’t even think about asking your Danish colleague to help you out with something after 3 o’clock.
Unless you can deal with a hard, cold, emotionless NO.
The first few times I experienced that, I have to admit that my poor fragile soul disappeared to the toilet to cry silent tears.

Another misconception is that every Dane speaks and is willing to speak English.
In the capital city, probably yes.
But a country consist of more than just the tourist attractions.
I was literally told by the doctor that if I wanted anyone to help me with my OCD, I was going to have to learn Danish.
“No doctor in Denmark speaks English good enough”.
I really wasn’t looking for anyone to talk to. Just give me those freaking pills.

And don’t ever expect that Denmark is foreigner friendly perse.
Otherwise, please have a look on my colleague’s arm with the words “Denmark Only For Danes” tatood on.

A lot of people have told me that if I dislike a country this much, to “just go back to my own country”.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. I don’t really have a home country.
But at the same time I dare you to experience a few years abroad in a country you don’t know the language of and see how you cope.
The adventure stops when real life starts.

What does it take to make YOU happy?
Is it the small things in life or is the bigger picture more important?

Does your country make you happy?
Or would you ever consider moving to another country to become happier?

Categories: Blogs

Tagged as:

Me & my Skeptical Heart

8 replies

  1. First of all, I just want to tell you that I’m so happy to see a post from you. I always look forward to them and whenever I visit your site and see no new posts, it makes me sad. (Not that I’m pressuring you or anything. Just expressing appreciation.) I just emailed you. Nothing too important. Just thoughts.

    When I saw the title of the video that was suggested to you, I groaned. Don’t we all know about the darkness in the Scandinavian countries? Don’t we know how rampant depression there is?

    Did you buy insurance privately while in Denmark, or was it deducted from your paycheck and handled by your employer? Also, did it cover everything? Once you saw the doctor/had tests done, did you have to pay anything extra? Did you not have insurance when someone called an ambulance for you?

    I think I am turning into a Dane. I have this person at work who insists on asking me for help at 3.30pm on a Friday on a regular basis. Umm… NOPE. This is because they insist on doing this every.single.time. while refusing to do it earlier in the week/day. They have all sorts of absolutely stupid excuses of why they need something precisely then. It’s completely arbitrary and I am able to see all that. My good will is gone.

    “The adventure stops when real life starts.” – says it all. Perfect sentence.

    I never equate happiness with the country in which I live. I like some more than others, but I don’t think it makes that big of an impact on me. I’m definitely open to moving. To me, the small things matter more.

    Like

    1. Oh no! I realize I am terrible at keeping a blogging schedule. I won’t promise anything, but I will take your feelings more into consideration. 😉
      Which is really the same.

      I know right! The video was 25 minutes and I really feel like watching it because I knew it would be full of bullshit statements. But I couldn’t really write this blog without watching it.

      In both the companies I worked for, it was deducted from my salary. Which also means that I am now without a health insurance and I honestly don’t really feel like paying for the crap service I have been receiving.
      I can still buy the pills without an insurance though, so honestly, I’ll take the risk.

      The health insurance does cover seeing the doctor. The difference is when you have to go to the hospital.
      I did have the insurance when the ambulance came, but regardless. It is not free. So it would be awesome if people stop selling these false statements. The video mentioned it so many times.

      Haha, I understand your situation with your colleague. The only difference is that a Dane would do it to anyone. Also if it only happens once in a severe panic situation.
      This is part of their healthy work/life balance.

      Is there any place in Europe that you would like to try? What about Scandinavia?
      I totally did not mention the positives in this blog.
      In Denmark, most companies give you 37 days off. That is excluding the holidays 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I need stimulating content and discussion!

        Can Jasper add you to his insurance? Or do you have to be married for that?

        I used to think Scandinavia was the place to be. I know some people that used to live in Norway and Sweden. They have now mostly returned home. In their opinion, those countries aren’t as good as they used to be.

        Realistically speaking, I could not live up there permanently. I could not do with the constant cold and darkness. Well, I might be exaggerating a little, but I am sure it wouldn’t be beneficial for me. I think it would be fun to try Portugal or Greece, but I have no real plans for that.

        Yea, the days off definitely are tempting! 😀

        Like

        1. I am actually not sure about the financial benefits of marriage, but if there was any, I am sure I’d be wearing a ring by now 😅 Jasper likes to save where ever he can.

          So you don’t like economically stable countries? 😉
          I was in Greece a few times. The food is my favorite. The sea is beautiful. The people are nice. But if you like green landscapes, you won’t find that in Greece.

          But as you can guess already, I wouldn’t be able to handle the heat 😉
          As for darkness, in the summer there’s actually more sunlight in the Scandinavian countries. As in, the sunset is at a later time.

          Liked by 1 person

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