Bhutan: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I miss Bhutan. I think about the country nearly everyday. Sure I’ve been writing blogs since my return from my travels there (October 2011), which obviously makes me think about the country. But I think about Bhutan more than just for writing my blogs. I think about it on a deeper level. And I miss the country. What I miss most are the people. Everyone I met was extremely gracious, friendly, and genuine. I feel like I have made some life-long friends. I spent the most time with my guides, three of them, all fantastic leaders, answering my questions and Continue Reading →

Four Friends in Bhutan: The Spirit of Cooperation

There is a very important fable in Bhutan. The story has four characters – an elephant, a monkey, a hare, and a bird. Four animals. Seemingly very different from one another. But through the spirit of cooperation, they become four friends. The first time I heard about the fable was before I traveled to Bhutan. I was reading books about the country, and from “Treasures of The Thunder Dragon: A Portrait of Bhutan” written by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, a former Queen of Bhutan, she told the story. Immediately, I loved it and its symbolism: An elephant, a monkey, a Continue Reading →

The Unique, Beautiful Women of Laya, Bhutan

They wear their long black hair topped with conical-shaped hats. Their clothes are made out of yak wool. They wear jewelry made of items such as silver and turquoise on their backs. They are the unique, beautiful women of Laya, Bhutan. In the remote Himalayan village of Laya at over 12,500 feet in northwestern Bhutan, the women have worn their unique style of dress for centuries. Along with the Layap’s distinctive language and customs, this style of dress reflects culture, tradition, religion, and history. It is believed that a very important figure in Bhutanese history and religion, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, Continue Reading →

Bhutan: The Layap’s Way of Life is Movement

Laya is a remote Himalayan village at over 12,500 feet in northwestern Bhutan. Laya is so remote that there are no roads leading to the village; thus there are no cars. Instead, several trekking routes lead to Laya. On the route I took, a trail that has been used for centuries, it took two and a half days to walk there. Two similar views of Masang Gang (approx 23,300 feet) in the background of Laya. Second photo taken during the morning hours. The Layap (people from Laya) have their own distinct language, customs, and dress than the rest of Bhutan. Continue Reading →

Bhutan: Bags are Packed!

Preliminary itinerary created. Time off work requested. Deposit check paid. Bags are packed. I’m going to Bhutan! Well, ok, maybe the bags aren’t packet yet. But I am going to Bhutan! Bhutan. Land of the Thunder Dragon. A place where their quality of life is measured by Gross National Happiness, rather than Gross Domestic Product. Where they’ve been considered the eighth happiest country on this planet. Nestled in the Himalayas, surrounded by Tibet, Nepal, India, and China. Where Buddhism is the main religion and agriculture is a way of life. Sprinkled with temples and monasteries and prayer flags and prayer Continue Reading →