Fiji is the happiest nation on the planet. And no, we’re not just saying that. In fact, according to a survey by the WIN/Gallup International Association – where they interviewed a staggering 64,000 people from 65 countries worldwide – 93 percent of Fijians are either ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with their lives.
So what’s their secret? What is it that makes Fijians so fulfilled? We reckon these 12 reasons might have something to do with it…
They have a great sense of community
Fijian culture is not about art or ancient architecture, but people. Respect and community runs deep in their everyday lives and travellers often can’t walk past a house without being beckoned in to share food or a drink.
They have the best water
Bottled FIJI water is everywhere. And, unlike most produce that claims to be from a certain place or country when it’s not, the brand is actually bottled in, derived and shipped from Fiji itself.
They are big on sustainability
With issues like coral bleaching and rising sea levels to tackle, Fiji is understandably big on the environment and sustainable tourism. Its government-backed Renewable Energy Power Project aims to replace all fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, such as biomass.
There are 330 islands to choose from
Only a third of the archipelago is inhabited, but the 100 islands that are accessible offer a vast choice of blissful beaches, tropical jungles and adventure-based or cultural activities.
The public transport is cheap and plentiful
Fiji’s main islands benefit from frequent buses in city areas, with fares as low as 25p each way. Need we say more?
They are multicultural
Around 800,000 people live in Fiji – more than 50 percent are indigenous, around 44 percent are Indians, and the rest are a diverse mix of Banabans, Polynesian Rotumans, Tuvaluans and even some European, Chinese and Australian settlers.
They have a laidback attitude
Fijians are so laidback, they don’t even worry about the time. In fact, ‘Fiji time’, is code for ‘whenever’.
They drink Kava
One sip of Kava and you’ll realise why the Fijians are so laidback (and so happy). This potent tea-style drink has a pleasant, relaxing effect, giving your mouth and tongue a numb dentist-like feel. Oh, and apparently it’s hangover-free too.
They have great weather
We’re not just talking about the country’s abundant sunny days, when you can expect temperatures in excess of 25 degrees Celcius. Fiji has plenty of rain too – around 368mm in March – meaning its crops are abundant and everyone is well-fed.
They are still in touch with their roots
Ceremonies and customs from indigenous tribes, like the kai colo (hill people), are still omnipresent and have a strong influence on the modern-day culture of Fiji.
They can laze on white sandy beaches one day…
From the small island of Kadavu to the soft, feet-sinking sands of Vatuele Island, Fiji has some incredible beaches, perfect for lazing, scuba diving and bird watching.
…and explore the rugged interior the next day
Fiji has an awesome interior too: think mountain tribes, mangrove-laced rivers, wild coffee and fruit plants and uncharted waterfalls.