Sitting underneath a shady mango tree in a hammock, sipping tereré, laughing, relaxing with friends and family … this is the image of Paraguay that dawns upon me as I prepare for my new life in this hidden paradise.
In the few trips that I’ve made to Paraguay so far, what has always intrigued me is the calm, friendly and utterly ‘happy’ nature of people. Yes, life moves at a much slower pace and yes, there are few foreigners and hardly any tourism. But this is precisely what fascinate me most about this relatively unexplored country of 6.8 million in the heart of South America, where a majority of the population speak the indigenous language Guarani in addition to Spanish.
It came as no surprise to me that Paraguay was recently voted the most ‘positive’ country in the world, along with many of its Latin American neighbors who ranked among the top 10. On a day to day basis, people generally feel happy, positive, respected and well-rested in this part of the world.
What a luxury to be moving to a country of smiling, laughing people!
Over the course of the next months and year(s) to come, I look forward to sharing my personal insights, reflections and experiences living in Paraguay. You can also follow me on Twitter: @bajoelmango
To get a taste of this land of mangoes, waterfalls and parrots, watch this tourism video with the slogan: ‘Paraguay tenés que sentirlo’ – ‘Paraguay, you have to feel it’.
The capital, Asuncion is 10,400 kilometers, or a 20 hour+ flight journey away from my current location in Switzerland. There are no direct flights to Paraguay from Europe or North America. The most common and easiest connections are through Sao Paulo, Brazil or Buenos Aires, Argentina, both about a 2-hour flight away from Asuncion. As of December 2015, Air Europa will be offering two weekly flights from Madrid to Asuncion (Sundays and Wednesdays) and return from Asuncion to Madrid (Mondays and Thursdays).
Evening walk along the Limmat river in Zurich watching the sunset on one of my last nights in Switzerland.