RITA, the “FEMALE NOMAD” and I meet, 2003
In 2001 “Tales of a Female Nomad” was published. It was not an overnight success but it has gained in momentum over the years and I, for one, could not put it down. Basically it is the story of Rita Golden Gelman (author of over 70 children’s books, including the popular “More Spaghetti, I Say!”) who left a failing marriage in 1985 and began an adventure that continues to this day.
She struck out on her own and this is the story of her journey. She travels to Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, Bali and New Zealand for starters. She has little money but she has a gift for connecting with people and this stands her in good stead all over the world. The reader is privileged to be part of her transformation from an unfulfilled suburbanite to a liberal and self-assured woman of the world.
Rita has no permanent address and no possessions except those she can carry. But she does have a website and an active following who e-mail her faithfully. At this writing she is working on her “Gap Year Project”. In a nutshell it’s her dream to have High School seniors take a year off before college to visit other world-wide life styles. You can read about it at her website.
In 2003 I was thrilled to read that she would be spending the month of September as the guest of the Omega Institute in Dutchess County, NY. I knew that she would be giving lectures and readings for the staff but I had no idea if I could be included, as a non-paying outsider. My daughter and son-in-law have a business in that County and we were all anxious to meet her.
I e-mailed Rita and she wrote back to say that the lectures were closed but that we could certainly meet for lunch. And that’s what we did. My children, a friend and I spent 3 hours over a leisurely lunch and I came away with a feeling of awe and respect for her. She is totally dedicated to “living at large in the world” and her inspirational journey is a testament to the fact that we can all live together in peace.