Friday, March 13, 2015
Tales of a Female Nomad
When Rita Gelman's kids were off to college, she began to feel restless. However, her very successful husband was firmly rooted and showed no inclination to make changes to their lifestyle. So she took off on her own to Mexico for a brief hiatus from her marriage.
Gelman wanted to challenge herself and she wanted to connect with the locals of a remote location, which she did, living with a family in a Zapotec village.
But after her getaway to Mexico, when she proposed returning home, her husband wasn't ready. Instead he wanted to prolong their separation. It was pretty clear to Rita, then, that the marriage was over.
After the divorce, Gelman decided she wanted to continue with her travels, living as cheaply as possible from her book sales (she wrote children's books) and experiencing the local cultures of the various places where she went. She avoided the touristy destinations and instead moved into small villages, learning the local customs and languages, sometimes exchanging her room and board for English lessons.
She had a real knack for adapting to the local culture and making herself at home no matter where she landed. At times, she struggled, mainly physically, since she is a little on the overweight side. But wherever Gelman went, she made friends and developed deep connections in the community. She must be one of the most adaptable people ever.
The travels included in this book are Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Israel, the Galapagos Islands, Indonesia, Canada, New Zealand, and Thailand. If you are looking for descriptions of the local scenery and tourist attractions, this book will disappoint. But if you want to read about local cultures and peoples and customs, this book will delight. It is all about the people, with some local scenery thrown in. But mainly it's about the people.