Often when we travel, we go somewhere on a whim, have a great time and come back with wonderful memories, but then never have the desire to revisit the place. However, if we are very lucky, the place will change us and leave us scheming for ways to get back. This is what happens in Lisa Napoli’s Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth.
What started as a random travel tip, ends up life-altering. An acquaintance happens to be heading to Bhutan. He offers, “Hey, get a visa and come with us.” Well, she doesn’t end up going with him, but he does set her up with a short-term job at a start-up radio station, which initiates her love affair with the country. Located in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu, the radio station, Kuzoo FM, was created by the crown prince—a rather forward-thinking monarch—for the young people of Bhutan and needs some guidance that Napoli, as seasoned journalist, is able to provide. She lives and works side by side with Kuzoo’s staff, finding friendship and community in a place so different from the United States. She gets some distance from her everyday world and even gains a new perspective on her life in Los Angeles.
You can come hear Napoli speak at Literary Orange in the panel, Travel: Journeys in Writing, on April 5th. Gail D. Storey, author of I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, will also be appearing. The panel will be moderated by Catharine Hamm, editor of the award-winning Los Angeles Times Travel Section. I can’t wait to hear their travelers' tales. Our annual event is only a month away. You can register here. We hope to see some of Book Talk’s readers there!