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Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in…
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Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World (2001)

by Rita Golden Gelman

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7722011,968 (3.91)21
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In the midst of the decadent 1980's the author's 24-year marriage was crumbling.

Realizing that she had only ever lived a life defined by her husband and by the things they'd accrued that allowed them to live comfortably, the author abandoned her glamorous L.A. lifestyle to follow her own adventurous spirit.

For many years she lived a nomadic existence, sharing huts and palaces, but, more importantly, the lives of others from around the globe, from a Zapotec village in Mexico, to a faded kingdom in Indonesia, from Ecuador to Papua New Guinea.

I loved this book! It isn't just about exploring thre world. It's about resiliency, conquering one's fears, and being open to new experiences. Perhaps what I loved most was that while she took something from each experience, she also seemed to leave something of herself behind. ( )
  bookwoman247 | Jun 7, 2013 |
I adore this book. It opened my eyes to a different sort of life. What a great adventure life can be! I hope that someday I can live a life that is as fulfilling to me as her life is to her...until then I'm going to work on getting to that point! ( )
  kcoleman428 | Apr 3, 2013 |
This was my choice to read for an upcoming book discussion with a new book club I joined. I liked this book. The author reminded me a little of a femal version of Anthony Bourdain. She traveled to different countries to live among the natives/residents and sampled their food as well. I enjoyed learning about the cultures of different countries and the ending was nice. My only two small complaints were... her obsession with the expensive boots. I realize that they were perfect and expensive, but you don't have to give the detail about the boots every time you wear them. And the other issue was that the majority of the men she met were handsome or good looking. Really? It may be possible but very very strange. Other than that, I enjoyed the book and her ways of making friends all over the world. ( )
  booklover3258 | Jun 29, 2012 |
After divorce and realizing her long lost dream of traveling the world. She does exactly that, absolving herself of her possessions and taking off with a plane ticket and no plane. Many will compare it to Eat, Pray, Love, though it is a very different tale. While you spend time in Gelman's head, her focus is truly on the other cultures around the world and her trials and tribulations at fitting in. Instead of "woe is me" it was very much "what can I discover next?!" and it was tremendous in helping to satisfy my own overwhelming wanderlust. Fantastic to see how she fit in places, traveled on a small budget, intermixed with cultures everywhere and truly became the person she wanted to be. A fantastic read that I'll be recommending many times over. ( )
  Oceanwings07 | Jun 27, 2012 |
Liked this book about an older woman (48-63), who is not in great shape (she is overweight and doesn't exercise regularly), who gives up her comfortable suburban life to become a nomad. It is somewhat similar to Eat, Pray, Love, but without the money to travel in comfort. Rita travels around the world, immersing herself into the culture of the area she is visiting and subsists on the $10,000 a year which she gets from writing children's books. Fun, quick read. ( )
  phh333 | Feb 15, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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For Jan, Mitch, and Melissa,m with love. And in loving memory of my parents, Frances and Albert Golden.
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I am a modern-day nomad.
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Book description
Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of Rita Golden Gelman, an ordinary woman who is living an extraordinary existence. At the age of forty-eight, on the verge of a divorce, Rita left an elegant life in LA to follow her dream of connecting with people in cultures all over the world. In 1986 she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions onthe Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces. She has observed orangutns in the rain forest of Borneo, visited trance healers and dens of black magic, and cooked with women on fires all over the world. Rita's example encourages all of us to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy, the exuberance, and the hidden spirit that so many of us bury when we become adults. (978-0-609-80954-9)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0609809547, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:40 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"I move throughout the world without a plan, guided by instinct, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous opportunities." From the Preface Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of Rita Golden Gelman, an ordinary woman who is living an extraordinary existence. At the age of forty-eight, on the verge of a divorce, Rita left an elegant life in L.A. to follow her dream of connecting with people in cultures all over the world. In 1986 she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces. She has observed orangutans in the rain forest of Borneo, visited trance healers and dens of black magic, and cooked with women on fires all over the world. Rita's example encourages us all to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy, the exuberance, and the hidden spirit that so many of us bury when we become adults.… (more)

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