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:
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?