Saturday, May 5, 2012


Story Description:
Crown Publishing Group | February 8, 2011 | e-Book | KOBO

Lisa Napoli was in the grip of a crisis, dissatisfied with her life and her work as a radio journalist. When a chance encounter with a handsome stranger presented her with an opportunity to move halfway around the world, Lisa left behind cosmopolitan Los Angeles for a new adventure in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan-said to be one of the happiest places on earth.

Long isolated from industrialization and just beginning to open its doors to the modern world, Bhutan is a deeply spiritual place, devoted to environmental conservation and committed to the happiness of its people-in fact Bhutan measures its success in Gross National Happiness rather than in GNP. In a country without a single traffic light, its citizens are believed to be among the most content in the world. To Lisa, it seemed to be a place that offered the opposite of her fast-paced life in the United States, where the noisy din of sound-bite news and cell phones dominate our days, and meaningful conversation is a rare commodity; where everyone is plugged in digitally, yet rarely connects with the people around them.

Thousands of miles away from everything and everyone she knows, Lisa creates a new community for herself. As she helps to start Bhutan's first youth-oriented radio station, Kuzoo FM, she must come to terms with her conflicting feelings about the impact of the medium on a country that had been shielded from its effects. Immersing herself in Bhutan's rapidly changing culture, Lisa realizes that her own perspective on life is changing as well-and that she is discovering the sense of purpose and joy that she has been yearning for.
In this smart, heartfelt, and beautifully written book, sure to please fans of transporting travel narratives and personal memoirs alike, Lisa Napoli discovers that the world is a beautiful and complicated place-and comes to appreciate her life for the adventure it is.   

My Review: 

In January of 2007, 43-year-old, Lisa Napoli, found herself trekking up a treacherous mountain in Bhutan to a place called “Takshang” built on a sheer cliff that soars ten thousand feel into the sky.  Lisa is in Bhutan for the summer volunteering at a radio station called Kuzoo Fm. 

The Bhutanese people are very hearty in many ways.  They live off the land as farmers which is a hard life. 

Trekking up the mountain, Lisa is huffing and puffing against the high altitude and the intensity of the climb.  The interesting thing is that children are brought there from the time they are babies, so you often see slight and frail seniors navigating the twists and turns and inclines deftly from memory, in a fraction of the time it takes foreigners half their age.  At the top is a cluster of temples of which the most sacred of altar rooms is only open to the public once per year. 

It is believed that meditating for just one minute at Takshang will bring you exponentially greater blessings than meditating for a month at any other sacred site.  What Takshang promises to all who visit is cleansing and renewal.   

The Bhutanese follow Buddhism and believe the long revered Guru Rinpoche is the Second Buddha.  Lisa says “this is the story of my mid-life crises and how I wrestled with and then transcended it...” 

Over a couple of years, Lisa befriended some wonderful people from the Bhutanese people and returned to Bhutan on three different occasions. 

I found the book to be extremely interesting as very, very little is known about this closed and secluded country.  I would definitely recommend this book to others who have penchant to learn about new places that are literally unheard of or where very little is known about the country and its people. 

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