Let’s Get Global

18 Aug

Have you read Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman? If not, you should. It’s an amazing story. On its surface, it’s similar to Eat, Pray, Love, and even though the two do have some similarities, I preferred Gelman’s nomadic tales.

Like Eat, Pray, Love, her story begins with the breakup of a marriage. Gelman, a children’s book author who’d been married to her husband for decades, had long dreamed of traveling and living a more adventurous life of discovery than her California life provided. During a two-month separation from her husband, Gelman heads to Mexico. She randomly selects a Zapotec village and goes there to live among the people for a month. Her goal is to get to know them, their customs, and their language. It’s a slow start, but she does just that. When she returns to California, her marriage ends, so she sells or  gives away all of her possessions and sets out on a journey to see the world and get to know its inhabitants. It’s an entirely new life–the life of a nomad–and she began this journey when she was 48.

The book follows her from country to country over a 15-year period. From New Zealand and Thailand to Guatamala and Nicaragua to Israel and Borneo. She has no plan and travels by her instincts, moving on when it feels right and when opportunities arise. For eight of those 15 years, she stays in Indonesia. It’s an experience that changes her life.

Today, at 73, she’s still a nomad with no permanent address.

Gelman is one gutsy, inspiring lady. And what’s more, she has recently devoted her time to creating Let’s Get Global. It’s a national movement in the United States whose aim is to encourage young people to travel internationally, particularly during the year after they graduate high school (i.e. a gap year that the English are so fond of). The goal is to create a new mindset in this country and educate students and parents about the importance of international travel and learning about other cultures. They’re looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved, fill out their volunteer questionnaire to get started.

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