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How do you achieve a peaceful life? Some say that where you plant your roots determines the splay of your branches. So maybe if we want to cultivate a peaceful life we ought to consider location, location, location. I am not talking about the suburb vs. city debate. I mean if we were to uproot all that we have known which country offers the most suitable soil for a successful and happy life?

According to the Global Peace index there is a way to measure this. Now in its 5th year the GPI ranks 153 nations according to their ‘absence of violence’. It is composed of 23 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring countries. The project’s ambition is to go beyond the crude measure of wars and explore the texture of peace.

Violence cost the global economy more than $8.12 trillion in 2010 however despite finding that the world is less peaceful for the 3rd straight year in a row… there were some positive findings. Some countries made leaps forward.So where would you and your loved ones be safest if a Global war were to erupt? What countries value peace over prosperity or invest in spiritual and social growth over economic tyranny?

Here are the Top 10 Most Peaceful Places:

1) Iceland

Iceland in spring

Iceland- the most peaceful place on earth?

Bouncing back from economic struggle and despite erupting volcanoes and ash cloud controversy this uber eco-conscious country takes first place in 2011. Iceland is a borderless country with no known enemies. This icy but stable nation boasts some of the happiest people on the planet who are known for their hospitality and passion for the outdoors.

 

2) New Zealand

A Mossy forest in New Zealand

Treebeard a mossy forest and crisp mountain water

This expansive and fully developed independent country has taken number one on numerous occasions and still maintains a squeaky clean peaceful persona. Several surprising earthquakes in 2011 brought devastation to some major city centers, yet despite the chaos the Kiwis showed the world their resilient nature and determination to rebuild. Known for its spectacular scenery and warm hearted people- this country has no known enemies and a well defended respect for it’s indigenous Māori people.

 

3) Japan

Tsuruoka City in Japan

Cherry Blossoms in Spring

Japan remained free from civil unrest in 2010, violent crimes and homicides are rare. The 2010 report also notes that Japan’s spending on defense was low, with forces usually used only for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. This country displays a steady respect for human rights and despite the recent devastating earth quake, it continues to house a stable government.

 

4) Denmark

Copenhagen cycle style

Copenhagen bike culture

This Danes are a known for their active lifestyles, 50% of all Copenhageners travel by bike no matter the weather or event…young women in stilettos, businessmen and families alike. Most recently Denmark was named Country of the Year at the world’s largest organic food fair. This conscientious country recently raised the penalty for illegal gun possession and is free from internal conflict.

 

5) Czech Republic

Charel's bridge

Peaceful People

The Czech maintains warm relations to neighboring Countries and it has little internal conflict. With 12 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this country is rich in culture, architecture and heritage.

 

6) Austria

Peaceful dockage

Lake Gleinkersee

Neutral since 1955, Austria shows one of the lowest military expenditures of all the Countries measured. 98% of the 8 million inhabitants are German-speaking and widely known for their love of music, art and of course The Alps. The National Park Hohe Tauern is the largest National Park in Central Europe and inspired the Austrian motto: “Find your true inner self where nature is at its purest”… now that speaks peace.

 

7) Finland

Winter in Finland

Stunning Aurora in Finland

This Northern most member of the European Union, Finland is an endless quilt of forests and lakes. In fact three quarters of its land area is forest. 200 000 lakes, 180 000 islands – it is no wonder this country is known for its connection to nature. Violent crime is extremely rare in this quiet and peaceful society.

 

8 ) Canada

Forest trek

Forest trek

Eh…what can I say, it is my homeland and I love this big beautiful place rich in diversity and natural eye candy. The temporary trade agreement signed with the U.S. early in 2010 improved it’s standing and come on…everybody knows: Canadians are just plain polite. The home of choice for peace icon Eckhart Tolle and a favourite stop for the Dalai Lama this peace driven place is a whole 74 spots ahead of its neighbor to the south.

 

9) Norway

Simply Stunning Norway

Peaceful and humble Norway

Relations between Norway and its neighboring Scandinavian countries, with which it shares a strong cultural and linguistic heritage, are healthy. Norway did slip in its ranking from the prior year but don’t let their Viking heritage deceive you these people are known to be very democratic and fair. Imagine: the charming Royal Palace inhabited by the Norwegian King and Queen has no barrier around it. In Norway they are egalitarian, so it would be quite normal to run into the King in the street.

 

10) Slovenia

Feilds and Forests of Slovenia

Feilds and Forests of Slovenia

Where the Alps meet the Mediterranean, this small green country is known for its friendly and sincere people. From exotic thermal springs to mystic art – Slovenia oozes etherial. This country is home to largest number of religious buildings per capita and among the most biologically diverse in the world- they are proud of there greenscapes.

 

The GPI Index aside what would your pick for peaceful place be?

Be well,

Nicola

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One Response to “The 10 Most Peaceful Places to Live”

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