Tucked away in a world of its own, New Zealand is one of the world's most idyllic countries.
The gem in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand offers some interesting things that make us want to pack up our bags and fly there, right now.
1. New Zealand is the 2nd safest country in the world.
The 2017 Global Peace Index, which compares 162 countries for the risk of personal violence, rates New Zealand as the world's second safest country just after Iceland. It is also the least corrupt country in the world, tied with Denmark.
2. New Zealand has often been voted the greatest country on the planet.
The Telegraph Travel Awards have voted NZ as the greatest country on Earth, for 6 years in a row, because of its combination of familiarity and escapism.
3. New Zealand is home to two of the highest-ranking cities in terms of quality of life.
NZ cities of Auckland and Wellington regularly appear in the top ten cities for high quality of life, according to Mercer. New Zealand ranks above average in health status, income and wealth, environmental quality and personal security, to name a few.
4. The cleanest air on the planet.
According to a 2016 report by the World Health Organisation, New Zealand has the cleanest air on the planet. More than 100 nations were included in the study which compared many factors and New Zealand came out on the top.
5. New Zealand is a pioneer for women in power.
In addition to being the first country to grant women voting rights, there was also one point in history where NZ had three women in power simultaneously. Their Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is also the first PM to be pregnant while in office, only the second woman in the world to give birth while in office too. In 1999, NZ also had the first transgender MP in the world, Georgina Bayer. NZ women's cricket team openly-gay captain recently announced that she will take a break for pregnancy, along with her wife.
6. They prioritise their citizens' well-being over economic success.
New Zealand has unveiled its first "Well-Being Budget" that focuses on people instead of traditional parameters like changes in tax structures, tariffs, etc. Other areas that the new budget will focus on are the problems of domestic violence, inequality, and homelessness. It has also made the largest fund allocation - $1.25 billion- towards mental health.
7. New Zealand is a nation of firsts.
A nation of firsts, New Zealand has been leading the world in many ways. NZ was the first country to grant voting rights to women, establish a 8-hour-work day, place where the first bunjee jumping took place - even the first man to climb Mt. Everest was a New-Zealander! They are also aiming to be the first country 100% powered by renewable energy.
8. New Zealand has a multi-cultural, all-inclusive society.
The country's population is just shy of 4.8 million, and about a quarter of these are immigrants. In bigger cities like Auckland, you are bound to run into people from China, India, Iran and even Egypt.
9. It has the 'Coolest Little Capital In The World'.
The Lonely Planet has named the New Zealand's capital of Wellington as the one of the coolest little capitals in the world. This city is the number one highlight for tourists. According to the largest travel-guide publisher, Wellington is big on the unexpected and the unconventional.
11. New Zealand is the adventure-sports capital of the world.
New Zealand invented bungee jumping and zorbing. Need we say more? The country was made for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many opportunities for adrenaline junkies to indulge in their love of sports including white-water rafting, scuba diving, surfing, paragliding and much more.
12. Their indigenous flora and fauna is enough to convince nature enthusiasts to make NZ their home.
New Zealand has many animal species that are unique to the country, like kiwi birds, 6 different species of penguins and Hector's dolphins. A third of the land in the country is protected in parks and reserves.
If these reasons were not enough, let the dramatic landscape seal the deal. From high mountains to low valleys, beaches to lakes, even active volcanoes, glaciers and geysers, the island-country has something to offer to everyone. There's a reason why The Hobbit Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia were all filmed against the outstandingly beautiful backdrops provided by New Zealand.
BRB, I'm packing my bags.