“Tales of a Female Nomad, Living at Large in the World” is the memoir of Rita Golden Gelman. Gelman is an accomplished writer who has published over 70 children’s books and a pair of adult books. The urge to write this particular book struck Gelman during the process of a painfful divorce. Wanting to seek out the best in life, she chose to flee her Los Angeles residence and sell off all of her material possessions in order to become a global wanderer in 1986, beginning with a trip south of the border to Mexico City. To this day, Gelman “maintains” no set residence and has few possessions to her name.
This book is filled with Gelman’s stories of mendicant meandering in pursuit of connecting with the world’s many peoples and cultures. Some of these anecdotes include the following.
- A stint residing within an indigenous Mexican community of Zapotec.
- Encountering the curious and clever orangutans of Borneo’s verdant rainforest.
- Sleeping on the Galapagos Islands with only the sounds of sea lions and the gentle crashing of waves against the coast as her lullaby.
- Multiple brushes with mysticism and the occult, from meditative healers to Santeria.
- Communing with dozens with women as they cooked, sharing stories and gaining greater insights about each other’s culture.
When you read over Gelman’s exploits, you cannot help but imagine what you might do in her situation. Even better, her way of writing encourages such self-examination to the point that it can be downright amazing at how much it makes you want to book a ticket and go somewhere completely removed from your day to day life. Arguably the most appealing aspect is that begin to see a trip’s destination as just another rung on the ladder of global travel.