Once upon a time, in the very south of the lightening blueness of the Adriatic Sea, in the heart of the Balkan mountains, there was a tiny country called Montenegro. And Budva, its coziest city, was a place where only Happy ones lived. Time passed, but the story remained unaltered. Why?
The most striking feature of Montenegro in general and Budva, in particular, is the strength and vigor of social bonds which exist between the locals. If you have ever read Robert Putnam and are familiar with the ideas of ‘civic society‘, Montenegro can serve as a great example of how social capital can be developed to an extraordinary high extent. https://goo.gl/images/MXtaYp
When you meet the locals, it seems like they all are friends who trust each other having a shared cultural identity. Those of us coming from huge vibrant cities would be amazed by the amount of all these interactions taking place every minute: drivers stopping to talk to each other, constant hugs and laughter on the streets, smiles addressed to strangers… It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this sense of belonging to one big family in determining the happiness of people here.
The main pillar of Montenegrins’ everyday reality is positive reciprocity and extensive, outstanding interconnectedness. If you are born in Budva, you know for sure that you will never be left outside of a community. We say that today glue of ethnicity is getting replaced by a glue of values: well, Budva successfully reconciles these entities boasting happiness of its residents.
Restless nature seems to have been working particularly hard when it noticed Budva. Surrounded by magnificent mountains, charming bays, full of unique canyons and clear lakes, imbued with smells of larch and pine and shining of the sunshine, Budva appears as a beautiful pearl lost in the wilderness of the Mediterranean. https://goo.gl/images/7jbvGI
The locals love and appreciate the beauty of their homeland: breathtaking views and majestic landscapes become constant sources of inspiration. Self-discovery, self-acceptance and ancient wisdom acquired from the peacefulness of the world around are necessary components of Budva’s happiness.
Budva’s specialties taste like heaven. No joking, it is really delicious! The crucial thing is that Montenegrins themselves do love their food – you won’t find any Asian or Italian restaurants in Budva, there is just no demand for them here. Budva’s cuisine is both nourishing and healthy and offers a variety of choice. https://goo.gl/images/kX4CyD
For example, Montenegrin lamb in milk (from about 2 kg of meat which is being cooked in domestic milk with the addition of spices and potato) is one of the most beloved dishes. Word-famous “prsut”, the one from Njegusi, is the meat of which people take care day and night, while it is dried exclusively on beech logs, for several months. The locals serve it with home-made grape brandy, and with the dry cheese from Njegusi. https://goo.gl/images/CvW6j4
Another passion of Montenegrins is kaymak, a dairy product similar to clotted cream that has a thick, creamy consistency and a rich taste. I can go on and on praising all these incredible things, but just want to say that nobody will be unhappy when healthy foods are also the favorite ones.
Budva is known as one of the best nightlife spots in Eastern Europe: the locals know how to have fun. There are lots of lovely and well-equipped clubs such as Trocadero or Top Hill where the youth drink, dance, and chill. https://goo.gl/images/RTisBl
A relaxing atmosphere is guaranteed thanks to highly professional sound systems and lighting effects, kind staff, modern interior, top DJs and some of the best regional music stars which frequently visit the city. Budva’s kids are always ready to rejoice and enjoy all the opportunities for doing so – why not to be happy?
Passionate about extreme sports, Montenegrins have actually mastered a tricky art of ‘being risky but alive’. A range of popular activities practices by the locals includes paragliding, bungee jumping, hunting, and shooting.
Those unwilling to feel the danger go for hiking, biking, swimming, or horse riding. Budva’s rafting is off the charts! The flat waters of the bays are perfect for stand-up paddle boarding as well.
Thus, Montenegrins have learned a wording that ‘the mind be sound in a sound body’ which kind of partially explains their happiness.
In conclusion, Budva’s happiness results from the admirable resilience of its community: people here do not blindly embrace all the changes coming from abroad but stay firm on the ground of their ancestry. https://goo.gl/images/ZEFYNO
Montenegrins accept innovations and are grateful for the benefits granted by globalization, but they feel and value their roots never trying to substitute their culture with a copy of a foreign one.