This time’s pick for the best travel destination for 2020 is Bhutan.

It is a tiny country situated in the Himalayas.

This pandemic is going to get over some time soon (optimistic!), and we’ll start making travel plans again.

This time, we present to you, Bhutan – a country highly dominated by its natural landscapes.

From the pristine pine forests to the steep Himalayan peaks, this land is obsessed with the gifts of Mother Earth.

Lonely planet Bhutan
SOURCE: yatra

So much so that the Bhutanese Constitution mandates the country to preserve at least 60 percent of its land under forest cover at all times.

This has led to Bhutan becoming the only carbon negative country in the world. What this means is that each year the forests offset more carbon in the environment than it produces. Bhutanese people are amongst the politest people we have come ever across.

Everywhere we went, the locals humbly invited us in for a cup of Buttered Tea with puffed rice.

Local tradition calls for three shots of Ara – a local spirit made from native grains and is usually served hot. At night, locals gather in community spots to perform the traditional dances.

One of the things that pop up in everyone’s mind when thinking Bhutan is Buddhism.  And you won’t be far from this when in the country. With one little change, however.

Buddhism isn’t followed as a religion but more as a way of life

Lonely planet Bhutan
SOURCE: drukasia

The government and people value health, education, diversity, peace, community, and traditions. The land Bhutan largely consists of the rocky Himalayan terrain.

Beautiful peaks with forests and snow are abundant but never get boring. Sitting between these peaks, you can discover many reserves and monasteries. One of our favorites was the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

Built-in the seventeenth century, Paro Taktsang popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest The monastery is situated at an altitude of over 10000 feet on a precarious cliff.

The walk uphill to the monastery is tiring and relaxing at the same time. You can meditate here and connect to yourself with non-intrusive ease. It helps you reinforce the lesson of finding inner peace rather than relying on material happiness that is always temporary.

SOURCE: bhutanmahayanatours

While meditating, you have moments of just ‘being there’.

Paro Taktsang, in a way, reflects the entirety of Bhutan.

Remote, High-up, Calm, and Harsh Natural Conditions.

But despite all this, a place where people find a way to spread happiness.

During one of our travels, we discovered that in 2008, the Bhutanese government introduced Gross National Happiness (GNH) as the most important index.

To ascertain this, a portion of the population has been surveyed three times since.0333333333 e 2008, and every time they have reported being happier.

Lonely planet Bhutan
SOURCE: officeholidays

The government really takes this seriously and prioritizes this above GDP and other indices.

By 2021, the government aims to transform all agricultural products to be completely organic.

This is to improve the health and nourishment of the people while reducing the harmful effects of agriculture on nature.

The most important thing that I took away from Bhutan is the realization that traditions and modernization can coexist.

You need only find the balance between both, and that is where you will always find peace!