Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tales of a Female Nomad

A few years ago, while still living in New Zealand, I read a rather good book titled 'Tales of a A Female Nomad' by Rita Golden Gelman. A Female Nomad

I was cleaning out my email account when I found a message I'd been saving for a day when I had time. It was from e-Marginalia , a website that is a forum for travelers to annotate, expound, reference and illustrate, to contribute and share the artifacts of their travels. We believe passionately in "traveling beyond the margins", breaking out of hum-drum tourist ruts, and probing beyond ersatz postcard trips. e-Marginalia is fast becoming the proverbial campfire where adventurous, curious travelers collect to share the artifacts of their voyages..

This particular issue had an interview with Rita ... Interview

And here's a review of the book I was so taken with: 'When Rita Golden Gelman traveled to Mexico during a two-month separation from her husband, she hoped to satisfy an old craving for adventure and, in the process, rejuvenate herself and her marriage. Little did she know it was the beginning of a new life, not just as a divorcée, but as a nomad of the world. Since 1986, Gelman has had no permanent address and no possessions except those she can carry. She travels without a plan, guided by instinct, serendipitous opportunities, and a remarkable ability to connect with people. At first her family and friends accused her of running away, but Gelman knew she had embarked on a journey of self-discovery and a way of life that is inspiring and enviable.
We know Gelman is not your typical middle-aged housewife from LA when, on that first trip to Mexico, she randomly picks a Zapotec village and decides to live there for a month, knowing nothing about the culture or the language. When she arrives, the villagers run away from her, terrified. By the time she leaves, there are hugs and tears. From there she travels to Guatemala and Nicaragua, Israel and the Galapagos Islands. But the heart of the book--and her 15-year journey--is Indonesia, where she lives for eight years. It is Bali that forever changes how she looks at the world, facilitated by her friendship with an aging prince. Tu Aji not only invites her to live with his family but decides that the education of Rita will be his final duty in life. Wherever she goes, Gelman has an uncanny ability to slip into other ways of life and become part of a community. And she is a person for whom doors open widely--her seatmate on the plane to Bali scrawls the prince's name on a piece of paper, she talks her way into a sojourn at Camp Leakey in Borneo where orangutans are studied, and an entire village in a remote part of Irian Jaya prays for the clouds to clear so her plane can land--and they do! Gelmen's secret is her passion for people. That being the case, the book is short on descriptions of place, but long on the rarer inside view of the peoples and customs of those places. This in itself is treat enough, but Gelman's animated and intimate story comes with a kicker--it's never too late to fulfill those dreams
. --Lesley Reed, review.


Alison said...

Mmmmm... sounds fantastic. Do you think it's possible to read all the travel books in the world before I die... That might hinder the ability to actually travel I guess... maybe not such a good plan.

woman wandering said...

I don't know ... let's try anyway.

Tamara said...

I just read your post on Expatica. I too moved here to Belgium 6 months ago and in the midst of learning Flemmish. Involved with a Flemmish Man with 2 children, also, who do not speak anything but Vlaams. Feel free to email me if you need a compatriate in experience ( eventhough I am coming from New York).

All the best,