International Vacations, Dying British Pubs and Spanish Siestas

Curated by CLAI

VACATION HAPPINESS: Vacations are fun, Americans are stressed, and happiness raises productivity and sales. Therefore, people should take more vacations, right? Nope – there is no happiness gain after vacation if there was moderate to high travel-related stress.

  • Stress involved with managing transportation, trying to deal with details while on the trip, unfamiliarity with the location, and lack of feeling safe all contributed to travelers feeling less happy and more stressed, and they had lower energy at work after the average vacation.
  • Travel does not lower happiness when you return to work — travel stress does.
  • The happiness level of users increased the further the Tweet was geotagged from the user’s home.
Restaurant in Madrid, Spain

Restaurant in Madrid, Spain (Christine Lai)

DISAPPEARING BRITISH PUB: Save an endangered species – the pub. Changing economics and shifting tastes have claimed roughly 1 out of 5 pubs during the last two decades in Britain. Since the 2008 financial crisis, 7,000 have shut, leaving some small communities confronting unthinkable: life without a “local,” as pubs are known.

  • Antismoking laws are keeping smokers away. Cut-price beer for sale at supermarkets is eating into business. In London, the upward spiral of real estate prices has made pubs attractive targets for developers.
  • New legislation is letting people petition to have a pub designated an “asset of community value.” The status provides a degree of protection from demolition and helps community groups buy pubs themselves. Roughly 300 others have followed suit.

BYE BYE SPANISH SIESTA: Even as people in some countries are preparing for bed, the Spanish evening is usually beginning at 10, with dinner often being served and prime-time television shows starting (and not ending until after 1 a.m.). Nearly a quarter of Spain’s population is watching television between midnight and 1 a.m.

With the economic downturn and the search of a more efficient culture, the Spanish government is truncating siesta to 1 hour, and the elastic Spanish working day would be replaced by something closer to a 9-to-5 timetable.

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