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Aruba’s Guide to Happiness

Aruba is the most visited island in the Caribbean and is one of the most revisited vacation destinations in the world.  So, why do people keep coming back to Aruba?  It is not just for the beautiful seas and temperate weather.  Visitors keep coming back for the rich culture and hospitable character of the Aruban people.  As a whole, the people of Aruba have a high quality of and satisfaction with life.  This appreciation of life radiates out and affects the visitors who come to the island.  Take it from the locals, and follow Aruba’s guide to happiness.

Embrace Diversity

Aruba is home to over 90 different nationalities of people who have found a way to live together in harmony and without any major conflicts.  Each nationality has added an element of its own culture to Aruba. However, rather than having segregated pockets of different cultures spread across the island, all of the different world influences have melted together to create a distinctly Aruban culture and identity.  The Aruban people are open to there being differences between people and believe that there is a benefit to a diversity of language as well.  Most of the citizens of Aruba speak at least four languages including Dutch and the native tongue of Papiamento, the two official languages, as well as English and Spanish.  Being more open to diversity and new things allows one to live a more peaceful and harmonious life. 

Best way to show the diversity of Aruba's people is with this short compilation of Carnival, the biggest party of the year! 

Live as One with Nature and the Natural Elements

With indigenous roots stemming from the Arawak tribe of the Caiquetios, an Indian tribe that lived in sync with their natural surroundings, Arubans embody this peacefulness as well. This attitude of being united with nature and each other is especially visible during Easter time, when the whole of Aruba camp out on the beach, living together in little beach communities for the holy week, just like their ancestors used to do.  Also as an island surrounded by the natural elements such as salt water, trade winds filled with negative ions* (negative ions in the air are a sure mood booster) and tropical sunshine, inhabitants can’t help but to have a happy and healthy spirit.

Camping at Eagle Beach during Easter, an important holiday and family tradition

Be Welcoming and Gracious

Many people across the globe are polite, welcoming, gracious, and kind to their families, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and community members. However, people sometimes find it difficult to be as open and friendly with strangers, foreigners, and tourists.  This is not the prevailing attitude of the Aruban people.  The locals are known worldwide for their warm welcomes, sincere hospitality, and willingness to interact with the people who visit the island.  Many of the locals report that they love the opportunity to talk with people from all across the world and say that their outgoing nature is as much for their own enjoyment as for the tourists.  Being approachable and responsive is not only good for business, but also for one’s own happiness. 

Aruba's people are well known for their friendly nature and service orientated attitude. 

Honor your Family and your Community

Image a line of ants, working together to get that piece of food back in their nest. Not saying that Arubans are like ants, but as being a part of a small community they are exceptionally caring and considering for their family members and community.  Where as in other cultures it is quite common to place the elderly family members in a nursing home, on Aruba this is seen as a last resort. Family members work out a care schedule and preferably take their elderly family members into their own home.  Every weekend there are fun walks, benefit events and fundraising programs happening on island and as Arubans are highly active on Facebook, news of accomplishments or tragedies spread fast. Just like the ants they unite together for a common goal. So take this piece of advice: Caring for each other and giving to your community are sure happiness builders.

An older local man relaxing on his front porch 

Create Balance

The strength of Aruba’s thriving economy did not happen by chance.  The people who live on the island are hard-working, proud, intelligent, and highly skilled.  Aruba has an advanced Dutch education system that not only prepares students for jobs in engineering, business, science, and other well-paying professions but also enables Aruban students to obtain their Bachelor or Master’s Degree in the Netherlands.

Tourism is a huge industry, and college students can get a degree in Business Administration in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  Despite all of the hard work that this entails, the Aruban people know when to call a workday done and just relax and enjoy life.  Taking a break from work actually increases job satisfaction and work productivity while reducing stress and job burnout.  Increase your happiness by working hard but remembering to live life as well.  Take a break, a day off, a vacation.... ideally to Aruba! 

Time to let loose and celebrate life! Old, young, wild and free, everybody dances! 

Keep updated and engage with Aruba via social media at www.facebook.com/ArubaFans or @Aruba on Twitter and @Arubatourism on Instagram. 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/negative-ions-create-positive-vibes

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About the blogger: Jane Vermaas
Born and raised on the One happy island Aruba, her passions include everything Aruba has to offer. From the best snorkel spots to authentic cultural experiences, she will give you the inside scoop on where to beach bum and where to get the best local dish, where to go salsa dancing and the island’s best practices to happiness!