"There's more than one way to do life.
In a small cemetery deep in the jungle of Borneo, two men climb into a freshly dug hole and retrieve the bones of a long-dead grandmother. An American guest joins the procession from the cemetery to the elaborately decorated village square for a traditional ceremony that will properly send Grandma off on her journey to the next world. In years past, a man from a neighboring tribe was sacrificed whenever this ceremony was performed. Today, in a new era, the neighboring tribe has been invited to participate in the festivities, and the only victim is a cow.
A few years earlier the American guest, Rita Golden Gelman, a children's book author and the mother of two grown children, was living in a comfortable suburban home, dining in elegant restaurants, and attending glamorous parties. Rita only dreamed of traveling to exotic places and experiencing other cultures. When her marriage failed, she decided to live her dream. She sold all her possessions and, at the age of forty-eight, took off to see the world. Fifteen years later, she's still without a permanent home.
Rita has lived in Mexico and the Galapagos Islands, Bali and New Guinea, Israel, Nicaragua, Thailand, and New Zealand. And she's still moving. Although she's not athletically gifted or independently wealthy, Rita has climbed mountains, paddled up rivers, and subsisted for a year on what many people spend in a few months. In Tales of a Female Nomad, Rita shares how she, an ordinary woman, has created a spectacular life, filled with interesting people, enlightening experiences, and fascinating adventures.
Determined to understand each local culture she visits, Rita stays not in hotels but with the natives on sleeping platforms or in huts, cement block houses, mountain cabins, or small bungalows. She even spent four years at a palace in Bali, complete with a prince. She's observed orangutans in the rain forests of Borneo, served as an unofficial tour guide in the Galapagos, taught herself the Indonesian language, and forged many lasting cross-cultural friendships. And the food — Rita has learned to cook exotic cuisine of all kinds, from elaborate Thai dishes to Nicaragua's staple, gallo pinto.
In addition to her tales of adventure, Rita shares the nitty-gritty details of how she manages to travel on scant funds and live without modern conveniences. To participate actively in the daily life of the communities she visits, she has learned to trust strangers to help her find places to stay and to teach her the local ways. The payoff is that she gains their trust as well.
Dynamic, vivacious, and a marvelous weaver of tales, Rita celebrates her glorious transformation from an unfulfilled suburbanite to a liberated and incredibly self-assured woman of the world. More than a travel memoir, Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of a woman's rebirth. Rita Golden Gelman's real-life tale proves beyond a doubt that anyone can cast away the burdens of conventional life at any age and continue — or begin — to thrive."
"In 1987, Rita, newly divorced, set out to live her dream. She sold all her possessions and became a nomad. She wrote a book about her ongoing journey and, in 2001, insisted on putting her personal e-mail address in the last chapter—against all advice. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision. She has met thousands of readers, stayed in their homes, and sat around kitchen tables sharing stories and food and laughter.
In this essay collection, Gelman includes her own further adventures, as well as those of writers and readers telling tales of the shared humanity they experienced in their travels. The stories are funny and sad, poignant and tender, familiar and bizarre. They will make you laugh and cry and maybe even send you off on your own adventure. Also included are fabulous international recipes such as vegetarian dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), chiles en nogada (stuffed poblano chiles topped with a white cream sauce with walnuts and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds), and ho mok (an extraordinary fish-coconut custard from Thailand). Happy reading—and bon appétit, selamat makan, buen provecho!."
"Every day, somewhere in the world, Foreign Service community members are in the midst of moving. Some have moved a dozen times or more, and lived to tell about it! They tell their tales in this book, a collection of advice and stories to serve as your “companion” along the way. Topics covered include: • leaving the U.S. for an overseas post • returning “home” to the Washington, D.C., area • moving to other posts in the U.S. • sorting and downsizing belongings before packout • digitizing and backing up important household records • creating a home inventory • helping children of various ages deal with a move • safely shipping pets • packing for an ordered evacuation from an overseas post • planning for an unaccompanied tour • shopping for consumables for a hardship post • special considerations for foreign-born spouses • taking care of ourselves during a transfer • and much more! Personal stories, essays and entertaining anecdotes add to this collection, which was written, edited, and produced by and for the Foreign Service community. Whether you are a veteran of many Foreign Service moves or a brand-new officer or family member preparing for your first packout, there is surely something in this book that you can use--or at that will at least give you a laugh when you most need one!"
"Brigid Keenan was a successful young London fashion journalist when she fell in love with a diplomat and left behind the gilt chairs of the Paris salons for a large chicken shed in Nepal. Her bestselling account of life as a “trailing spouse,” Diplomatic Baggage, won the hearts of thousands in countries all over the world.
Now, in her further adventures, we find Brigid in Kazakhstan, where AW, her husband, contracts Lyme disease from ticks, the local delicacy is horse meat sausage, and Brigid's visit to a market leads to a full-scale riot from which she requires a police escort. Then, as the prospect of retirement looms, Brigid finds herself on the cusp of a whole new world: shuttling between London, Brussels, and their last posting in Azerbaijan; navigating her daughters' weddings while coping with a cancer diagnosis; and getting a crash course in grandmotherhood as she helps organize a literature festival in Palestine. Along the way, dauntless and wildly funny as ever, Brigid learns that packing up doesn't mean packing in as she discovers that retiring and moving back home could just be her biggest challenge yet."
"Chris Kriegstein is a man on the move, with a global career that catapults his family across North America, Europe, and Asia. For his wife, Elise, the hardship of chronic relocation is soothed by the allure of reinvention. Over the years, Elise shape-shifts: once a secretive Southern Baptist, she finds herself becoming a seasoned expat in Shanghai, an unapologetic adulterer in Thailand, and, finally, a renowned interior decorator in Madison. But it's the Kriegstein daughters, Leah and Sophie, who face the most tumult. Fiercely protective of each other--but also fiercely competitive--the two sisters long for stability in an ever-changing environment. With each new move, the girls find they can count on only one thing: the consoling, confounding presence of each other. When the family suffers an unimaginable loss, they can't help but wonder: Was it meant to be, or did one decision change their lives forever? And what does it mean when home is everywhere and nowhere at the same time? With humor and heart, Brittani Sonnenberg chases this wildly loveable family through the excitement and anguish of their adventures around the world."