Writer returns to roots to promote book on getting through disasters
A Bermudian writer has returned home to promote a book he co-wrote with his partner about getting through hard times.
Alex Bortoli, a former reporter with The Royal Gazette, and Canadian Kat Finnerty experienced hundreds of earthquakes, as well as tsunamis, cyclones and exploding volcanoes, while “marooned” on the Vanuatu island Espirito Santo in the South Pacific since 2020 because of Covid.
Mr Bortoli said: “The day we woke up to a volcano erupting on our doorstep, we kind of panicked a little, because we could see the lava’s red glow and the huge black mushroom cloud in the sky.
“But the locals assured us it would settle down and it did after a few days.”
These experiences led him and Ms Finnerty to co-write the memoir Never Let a Good Disaster Go To Waste.
Ms Finnerty had multiple sclerosis diagnosed at the age of 24 and told she would be in a wheelchair by the time she was 40.
She met Mr Bortoli in 2019 when he was running Airbnb accommodations in Vanuatu.
Through hard work and determination, Ms Finnerty went into extended remission and became one of a handful of three million people who suffer from MS worldwide to have reversed some previous disabilities.
Promoting the book, which is now a bestseller on Amazon, she said: “It’s part crazy travel adventure, part self-help, part powerful journey of self-discovery, think Eat Pray Love on steroids.
“I’ve been through so many disasters in my life and one of the things I’ve learnt along the way is that mastering your thoughts and flipping your perception are key to overcoming and transforming any adversity in your life.
“My Buddhist teacher used to say, ‘your thoughts are like the waves in the ocean. You can’t stop them from rolling in, but you can sure as hell choose which ones to focus on and surf.’”
Ms Finnerty added: “It’s important to spend at least as much time and energy learning how to master your disasters as it is pursuing your happiness and desires — and my life story is an epic example of how to do this.”
The couple will be in Bermuda until tomorrow and the memoir can be purchased on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The first three chapters are available in audio or text form on katfinnerty.com.