It Could Be Worse... Not!
Another worst case scenario that wasn’t supposed to happen just did: the US electorate voted in a fascist of their own free will. Given that 2016 seems to have accelerated the world’s downward trajectory, a worst case scenario plan seems… not NOT smart.
As far-right political parties, lunatic heads of state, and a complete disregard of civil rights seem to be becoming the global norm, we’ve asked ourselves where we could possibly escape the madness (and avoid getting nuked).
So sure, it’s cold there, but hear me out: not only do they have Northern Lights and geysers, they also have BJÖRK! Which means you’d enjoy a higher than normal possibility that Björk would quickly become your best friend (after all, every Icelander knows someone who’s a friend of hers) and you’d snuggle in quietly experimental outfits while watching video art together, and that alone would already make your move there worthwhile. Iceland has a low terror threat ranking, a reputation of being socially progressive, also in terms of civil rights and, for a European country, its happiness levels are surprisingly high (#3 in the World Happiness Report 2016). Like many Nordic countries, its society is incredibly homogeneous and the gene pool could probably do with a bit of mixing up, so pack your bags and shake things up there if you’re not a massive fan of summers, anyway.
A faraway option for those who are seriously concerned about Trump deciding to nuke a few countries during a massive tantrum. New Zealand is known to be a peaceful, relatively happy (#6), tolerant and progressive country—and while there’s still some catching up to do in terms of how it treats its minority population, it is far less racist than neighbouring Australia.
What’s not to love? Beautiful beaches, a higher level of wellbeing than in many richer nations, and one of the highest levels of happiness in Latin America (#14). And I’m calling it: probably a dizzying array of sweet cocktails with umbrellas in them. OK, there’s dengue and some other nasty diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, but in return you get civil rights that are comparable to Germany (AKA there’s still some room for improvement), minus the impending threat of an AfD type party gaining even more seats in parliament. Pure vida, an expression of endless optimism, is a way of life there—and optimism is exactly what we need right now.
You probably won’t get rich in Portugal, but how rich are you now anyway? A socialist PM and a left wing coalition are a refreshing change to the right wing madness in the north of Europe, and the chances of finding work there are significantly higher than in neighbouring Spain. The society isn’t without problems but it is diverse and quite progressive when it comes to LGBT issues. And of course there are also the beautiful beaches, the mild climate, stunning architecture, and, lest we forget, the little battered snacks available at every tiny cornershop/cafe in Lisbon. Everything fried in breadcrumbs makes life better.
Obviously it had to make it onto the list, too. Trudeau seems like the young, feminist, yoga-loving, panda bear-cuddling nemesis of Trump, and his Canada can easily be perceived as a place many people would rather live in at the moment. Of course the Canadian society isn’t perfect, but the people are pretty happy (#6) and it seems like they’ve been doing a lot right lately. It does get bloody cold there though…
The Kingdom of Bhutan has repeatedly been named the happiest country in Asia. Located south of China, in the Himalayas, the Buddhist country has an abundance of beautiful countryside to offer. It is one of the safest and most stable countries in the region and seems like a perfect choice for someone who seeks the life of a total recluse while all hell breaks loose.
East of Madagascar and south west of Mauritius, the small island in the Indian Ocean is technically part of France and the EU. It’s got a bit of a shark problem—but sharks are better than Trump, right? The island is a popular destination for LGBT travellers, as, alongside Mayotte (French territory), Ceuta and Melilla (both Spanish territories) and of course South Africa, the legislation is a lot more progressive than in Germany. La Réunion could be a perfect place to hide from it all—that is, of course, until the French vote their own fascist candidate into parliament next year.
Did we miss a place? Did we screw up facts? Tell us (nicely please, the last hours were emotional) and we’ll update the list.
Now that your banging body will be hidden under layers and layers of fabric, you might as well add some extra insulation to stay warm. The added benefit is that it keeps the heating bills low, which is good for the environment. All these extra meals (especially when they’re organic) are basically your contribution to stopping climate change and saving the planet, you wonderful, selfless human being!
If your job negotiations didn’t include discussing flexible work arrangements you’re a fool! But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Come winter, “working” remotely or at least “working” from home is everyone’s dream and annoyingly, we all know people who are already living their nauseatingly envy-inducing dream lives. We’re happy for you, but also, maybe… not? Anyway, these jobs are definitely out there, but there are downsides too: You won’t get to see, hear and smell your coworkers for 40+ hours per week, and you’ll have to get through the day somehow without drinking the best coffee in town, playing ping pong or chilling on those über cool bean bag chairs (courtesy of your super edgy workplace), so think this important lifestyle change through before making this sacrifice.
Winter is so boring that you might actually stand a chance of getting shit done. Shit you should’ve done in summer when you were busy having an epic time doing things you can’t remember now. Time to finally sort out your documents, bills, finish that project or pick up a post-ironic hobby. In short, be productive. If that doesn’t sound like you then fuck it, be that grubby winter blanket, get messy weekend after weekend — and don’t let anyone shame you for it.
Everyone has a different definition of fun and pain. Some people have a jolly good time when they see their loved ones during the winter holidays. Others aren’t massively into shelling out (financially or mentally) for an underwhelming family reunion that usually opens with someone saying “You’ve gained weight” followed by “Are you pregnant?” followed by a long speech about your waning fertility.
If that’s not what you consider as having a great time, then use the money you’re saving on not having procreated and splash it all out on a ridiculously overpriced trip abroad. It’s not like you’re going to enter the housing market anytime soon anyway, so you might as well shorten winter by going on a holiday with people who are actually fun to be around with — and then return to the city with a big smile on your bronzed face because spring is finally within reach.