While we are in school and higher education – university or college – we are unknowingly in the atmosphere of luxury. Majority of students complain about their lack of finances to shop, travel and have fun without even knowing that the most precious of all gifts is in their court. Many people don’t even realize the true meaning of having time to do sports, have random picnics and day trips to wherever your heart pleases. Yes, the advantage that students have against those who are working a full-time job is free time.
When I was a student at university, I didn’t even give the chance to recognize the importance of doing things at my own pace. Apart from lectures and coursework, there are many hours in the day that were unaccounted for – shopping, working, travelling and enjoying university life. Now that I have officially joined the workforce, I am – quite frankly – appalled by the concept of 40 hours a week, all year round with only 2o days’ leave.
Our whole lives we are spoiled with 2 month long summer holidays, Christmas holidays that last 3 weeks and an extra 2-3 weeks at Easter. Yes, education is important and gets us to where we want to go – but when we get to the place we want to be, there is only work, and some more work. (Bumper prize for following that sentence)
Although I absolutely love my job, and the people I work with are such a laugh, at times the fact that this is it for the rest of my life scares me. I mean, as a student I had little money and all the time, and as an adult I have the money but no time to spend it! What a paradox we live in.
Currently, we have 20 days of annual leave where I work. Now while I think this is unreasonable , there are many countries in the world that offer even less…
- Thailand – 6 days
- Hong Kong – 7 days
- Vietnam – 10 days
- China – 5-15 days
- Japan – 10 days
I took the liberty to find the correlation between happiness and annual leave in order to prove my hypothesis that more annual leave means happy employees. Clearly, I am not supporting more annual leave for the purpose of being lazy, but to spend more time travelling and living your life. Work is an important component of living – it gives us direction and drive to actively do something; however it is not the purpose of life.
Keeping this in mind, here are the happiest countries in the world:
5. New Zealand
Surprise, surprise! Norway offers 25 days of leave, along with the 5-12 Public Holidays in the country – making it the happiest country in the world. (Click here to view the full list of annual statutory leave)
In conclusion, it is time we reviewed how we live and how we work to come to lead a better life. While work is an essential and important part of life, it’s integral that we don’t lose sight of the fact that we only live once – and there is never going to be enough time to do everything. So make your bucket list and do the things you want to do 🙂