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August 28, 2019

Rash: A Memoir by @LisaKusel12 ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


Have you dreamed of living abroad? While I love to travel, I've never wanted to live in a foreign country for longer than a few weeks. I'm always a little impressed with people who do which is one of the reasons I wanted to read Lisa Kusel's memoir Rash.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.


June 2017; WiDo Publishing; 978-1937178840
ebook, print (292 pages); memoir
Kusel's conversational writing style makes this memoir easy reading. It's as if she has joined you for a cup of tea and is sharing her tales from Bali.

I'm always in awe of people who write memoirs as there are usually people within the memoir that do not come out looking their best. I thought Kusel's husband was pretty unsupportive. While he made Lisa feel bad about complaining about the problems with the house and that she was being selfish for not just sucking it up, I thought he was the selfish one - being in Bali was all about him and his career. I never really saw a time when he put his family's needs first. I mean who makes a decision as life-changing as moving around the world after having a few minutes Skype conversation with their spouse?

Also not shown in a good light is the Green School and founder John Hardy. I did google Green School to see if it existed (or if Kusel had used a fake name). And the school does still exist. In fact, they are getting ready to open a campus in New Zealand next year. After reading Rash, I would be looking really closely at how the school is ran if I was considering sending a child there. Have they been able to work out the problems that plagued them in the beginning?

I didn't think Kusel was being overly negative. I would be complaining about the lack of hot water and the incompleteness of where I was staying if I had been told that construction would be completed before I arrived. I probably wouldn't have been as concerned about the health issues (I'm in no way an anti-vaxer), but I probably wouldn't have been happy with the isolation. I wondered if Kusel was dealing with depression (even prior to leaving for Bali).

Mixed in with the day-to-day struggles is a larger struggle that many people deal with, no matter where they live: learning to be happy with where you are (geographically as well emotionally, spiritually, etc). There are always times in our lives when we think that a change (large or small) will make us happier. When that itch comes, we need to examine if it is really our circumstances that are making us unhappy or if there is a deeper reason.

While this memoir confirmed that I will never be an expat, I don't think it would discourage anyone considering it. I think it would prepare you for what it might actually be like to live abroad, especially in a least developed or developing country. Sometimes these realities are glossed over and in the excitement of a new adventure the traveler doesn't always ask the important questions.

Buy Rash at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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