When asked about my most admired countries, Switzerland is always the first that comes to mind, second would be Japan.
Why Visit Switzerland?
Switzerland is a country that ranks number one in personal and economic freedom, making it one of the best overall countries to live in. The culture is breathtakingly beautiful and unique, with one of the biggest concerns being not to give offense when possible. But what makes Switzerland truly admirable is its commitment to being who they are – “We are Swiss. We welcome you here, but this is Switzerland, and you came here to live like the Swiss; not to make us conform to where you left.”
Switzerland values cleanliness and beauty far more than other places I have visited. Their architecture and heritage are outstanding. They are known for their all-around nice people, and their split between French, Italian, and German culture is pretty incredible. The landscape is perhaps the most beautiful place in the world, very much like the South of France and North Italy, but more mountainous.
Their history and heritage of cheese, castles, and chocolate are simply wonderful. It’s hard to resist a stroll through their streets without stopping to indulge in their delicious chocolates. Their system of government is pretty great overall, making the country one of the most stable and prosperous countries in the world.
One of the things I admire most about Switzerland is the sense of safety and security that permeates throughout the country. Walking around their cities, one can feel 100% safe. There are no bums lying around, and there are no tent cities. Perhaps this may be a bit different in the largest cities, but most of the country is terrific. The food in Switzerland is also amazing. Everywhere you go, you can find good food from the three main cultures, and there are very few fast food restaurants selling trash.
One of the things that I find particularly impressive about the Swiss is their commitment to quality. Go into the home of an average Swiss, and you will see high-quality materials, a minimalist ethic, clean, open spaces, and nice architecture. Quality tile or marble floors are very common, and you won’t see many people with cheap crap or garbage stacked up everywhere like many Westerners. Their kitchen counters are empty, and everything is put away. They are committed to simplicity, comfort, and beauty.
However, there is one thing that I do not like about Switzerland. The people are almost too perfect. When you live there, you get sucked into that culture and don’t notice how everyone is kind of the same perfect version of themselves. It can be a bit dull.
Despite this, I love the Swiss people and their logical sensibilities. They are smart but cautious and make smart decisions in a calculated semi-pessimistic way. This can be seen reflected in just about everything they do, and it’s a hilarious observation.
Switzerland is also very convenient because they are part of the EU but did not actually join the EU. So with a Swiss passport, one can travel and live in Europe freely, but the Swiss didn’t take on all the problems of being in the EU. This is another example of their sensible choices and commitment to their culture of independence.
It’s pretty incredible to go on a mountain hike and see the cows with Swiss bells around their necks. You walk into a little village where their main product is cheese that is made by family members the same way for 600 years and has a unique taste because they have been using the same ingredients, water, and bacteria for all those centuries. You give them $50, and they cut off a big wedge, wrap it in paper, then pour some wine for themselves and you and sit and chat about something. You can have this same experience in nearly every small village.
My favorite place to stay is the region from Lausanne to Montreux. It is unbelievably beautiful.
I’ve been all over North America, the Middle East, Asia, and most countries in Europe. Switzerland is by far the place I would most like to live.
I Love Japan. Is Japan Worth Visiting?
Japan is definitely one of my top two most admired countries in the world and it holds a special place in my heart. I have always been fascinated by the country’s culture, traditions, and its people. When I think of Japan, I think of its rich history, its bustling cities, its serene countryside, its unique food, and its world-renowned technology. In my opinion, Japan is a country that strikes a perfect balance between modernity and tradition, and this is what makes it such an intriguing place to visit and live.
I have had the privilege of living in Japan for four years, and it was an experience that I will never forget. During my time there, I got to immerse myself in the culture and explore the different regions of the country. I lived in Osaka, one of Japan’s largest cities, and I was immediately struck by how clean and efficient everything was. The streets were spotless, the public transportation system was punctual and convenient, and the people were polite and courteous.
One of my most memorable experiences in Japan was when I lost my wallet on the train. I had about $1,500 in cash, which was my month’s stipend, and I was devastated when I realized it was missing. However, my faith in humanity was restored when I received a call from my university informing me that someone had found my wallet and turned it in to the local police station. To my surprise, the person who found it did not want a reward, which is customary in Japan. This incident made me appreciate the honesty and integrity of the Japanese people, and it is something that I will never forget.
Another thing that I admire about Japan is its technology. Japan is known for its advancements in robotics, electronics, and transportation. During my time in Japan, I was amazed by the efficiency and convenience of their transportation system. The trains were always on time, and they could take you anywhere you wanted to go. I also got to experience their bullet trains, which were incredibly fast and comfortable.
However, Japan is not without its flaws. One of the things that I found challenging during my time there was the housing. Japan’s housing is notoriously bad, poorly insulated, and made to last through the mortgage and then be torn down and rebuilt again. This was something that I struggled with, especially during the colder months when the temperature inside my apartment would drop to near freezing.
Despite its flaws, Japan remains one of my favorite countries in the world. Its culture, people, and technology make it a unique and fascinating place to visit and live. However, living in Japan also made me realize that I am not cut out for the Japanese way of life. I tried to be like the Japanese, but I found it impossible to adapt completely. I like being rough around the edges, living in a place that is rough around the edges. For me, this means more money-making opportunities, which is something that I value.
One of the things that I cannot compromise on is the climate. I do not see myself living anywhere too cold. Cold weather is one of the ingredients needed to create the hardship that shapes societies into dreamlands and utopias, but it is not my piece of cake. I met a couple who lives six months in a famous ski town in Austria, and six months in a famous beach in South Italy. They are in their late 70s and have been married for over 50 years, and they still travel by car 1,200 miles twice a year. While I admire their sense of adventure and their ability to adapt, I could never do the winter section. I would probably say, “The snow’s gorgeous. Send me a postcard when you get there. See ya in April.”
In conclusion, Japan is a country that holds a special place in my heart.