Podcast Episode #21 – ‘Getting Global’ with Tales of a Female Nomad’s Rita Golden Gelman

Podcast Episode #21 – ‘Getting Global’ with Tales of a Female Nomad’s Rita Golden Gelman
March 18, 2011 Lainie Liberti

“And I live on trust…”

~Rita Golden Gelman

Getting Global with Tales of a Female Nomad, Rita Golden Gelman

In Episode #21 Lainie & Miro explore the concept of long- term travel, or being a nomad. Then, Lainie has the great honor of speaking with one of her personal heroes, Tales of a Female Nomad author. Rita Golden Gelman  shares her thoughts on humanity, travel, trust and her new project, ‘Let’s Get Global’.

“I am a modern-day nomad. I have no permanent address, no possessions except the ones I carry, and I rarely know where I’ll be six months from now. I move through the world without a plan, guided by instinct, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous opportunities.”

Tales of a Female Nomad

Sitting on the beach in Monterrico, Guatemala in 2009

No, those aren’t our words, but they could be, because they so accurately describe our path too. Those  words were written by Rita Golden Gelman, the author of Tales of a Female Nomad and one of my personal heros.

A year and a half ago we headed to the pacific coast of Guatemala to the beach town Montericco. We had been living in Antigua, Guatemala for a couple of months at that point,  and had been traveling  just under a year. After a couple of months in the mountains, we were ready for a little beach time.

But when we got there, I spent the weekend with her hands glued to a book, that Roxanne, our roommate had given to me. Every time my son looked over at me, I was lost in the book,  it didn’t even matter that we were in the middle of one of the worst tropical storms to hit Central America in a couple years. That was tropical storm Agatha that ended up causing much damage in Guatemala.

At one point, I was laying in a hammock reading Tales of a Female Nomad, and there were tears rolling down my cheeks. When Miro asked me what was wrong, I said “Nothing, is wrong. But for the first time since we started traveling, I understand why we are doing what we are doing, because there’s someone else out there who feels the same things I feel.”
Miro didn’t understand exactly what I meant at that point, but when I finished the book in the long shuttle bus ride back to Antigua, I  told Miro all about the book, and he know it  a complete change had happened to me.  For me, what mattered was  the connection I felt with Rita and her story, and for the first time since I had closed my business, got rid of all of our things and took Miro  on an indefinite journey, I did I not feel alone.

Rita writes:
“People are my passion. Unlike a traditional nomad, when I go somewhere, I settle in with the locals long enough to share the minutes of their days, to know the seasons of their lives, and to be trusted with their secrets. I have lived with people in thatched huts, slept in their gilded palaces, and worshipped with them at godly ceremonies and dens of black magic. I have also cooked with women on fires all over the world.”

And those words have influenced me. When I sent her an email a couple of weeks ago, asking her if I could interview her for the Raising Miro podcast, I had butterflies in my stomach as I typed that email. Rita Golden Gelman is one of my personal heros and this connection was so important to me. And in less than 24 hours of hitting the send key, she replied back with a “I’d be happy to speak with you, Lainie”.
I was so excited!!

Rita Golden Gelman Quotes from our interview

We hope you are here at the page because you are listening to the podcast interview now, but incase you need some urging, here are some wonderful Rita Golden Gelman quotes from the interview and some of my favorite moments:

Rita’s 4 travel tips, (and we try to live by these rules):

Smile a lot, talk to strangers, accept all invitations and eat everything you’ve been offered.”

…And I live on trust.

Rita explains how her quote was printed on Starbucks Tall cup #31. Her quote is:

Risk taking , trust and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity there are no surprises.”

And my personal favorite:

It’s hard to drop bombs when you realize the people you are dropping bombs on are just like you.

I love you Rita, thank  you so much for speaking with us!!!!

About Rita Golden Gelman

from wikipedia

Rita Golden Gelman is the author of more than seventy children’s books and two adult books. Her memoir, “Tales of a Female Nomad, Living at Large in the World,” was published in 2001 by Crown/Random House and it is still selling widely in paperback. In 1987 Gelman decided to sell all her possessions and become a citizen of the world. She has never returned to a settled life; she calls herself a “modern day nomad.” She still has no home and few possessions. In “Tales…,” she writes about the first fifteen years of living around the world, mostly in developing countries.

Gelman’s most recent book (June, 2010) is an anthology, “Female Nomad and Friends, Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World.” Forty-one authors, all but two of them women, tell their stories of “connecting across cultures.” Gelman has eight stories in the book. There are also thirty three international recipes. All the author royalties from this anthology are ssending high school graduates from slums in New Delhi to vocational schools. Rotary International is facilitating the scholarships in New Delhi via US Rotary in Leonardtown, MD.

Gelman’s children’s books include “More Spaghetti, I Say!” about Minnie, a monkey who can’t stop eating spaghetti, and “Body Battles,” about how our bodies fight off viruses and other threats to our health, like drugs and poisons. The spaghetti book is a staple in most first and second grade classrooms.

You can find more information about Rita by visiting her site RitaGoldenGelman.com

Let’s Get Global

Crossing Borders, Sharing Lives

Do an International Gap Year!

It will change your life.
An international experience, whether during high school, college, or in-between, will help you discover who you are and what the world is all about. You will come home a global citizen, more confident, more focused, and ready to take on the challenges of life, whether academic or vocational.

What is a Gap Year?

That’s the year between graduating from high school and the next phase of your life. It’s also called a bridge year, the big OE (overseas experience), deferred year, time off, time out, interim year, and year off). It’s called a Gap Year, but it doesn’t have to be a year. It can be a semester, a month, or even three weeks! You’ve been in classrooms for thirteen years. It’s time to take your education across borders. Let’s Get Global believes that the easiest time to take a break is that in-between year.

Get Involved

We’re looking for volunteers

Our goal is to reach every community and every school in the country to spread the word about the benefits of taking a Gap Year. We’re going to need people, young and old, to talk to guidance counselors, principals, teachers, parent groups, and students. We’re preparing an online kit for volunteers to use when they talk about Let’s Get Global.

A Message from Rita Golden Gelman, Founder of LET’S GET GLOBAL

The world is calling you. Once you have touched it, your heart will open, your senses will expand, and you will discover what it means to share your humanity. And if you stay a while, you will also discover strengths and talents that you never knew you had.

Imagine tracking a mother and baby orangutan, as I did, in the rain forest of Borneo with a young Dayak tribesman. You are stretched out in the hammock you just tied to the tallest trees you’ve ever seen, waiting for the furry brown creatures to finish eating and swing to another tree.

Or maybe you are teaching English to a roomful of children in China or Chile.

Or perhaps you are feasting on paella in a home in Barcelona when suddenly you realize you are speaking Spanish.

Or……… no, that’s enough. The scenarios are endless; the experiences, life changing.

I promise: taking a Gap Year will be one of the most important decisions of your life… and the best possible preparation for college, a job, vocational school… your future. You will return home confident, secure in who you are, and focused. The colleges know this too; more and more are encouraging their incoming students to take a year off before starting their freshman year. Apply to college while you are in high school, then defer and Get Global with a Gap Year.

Crossing borders and sharing lives will transform you. Happy journey.

With love,

Contact Let’s Get Global to help out Here!


Servas is an international, non-governmental, multicultural peace association run by volunteers in over 100 countries. Founded in 1949 by Bob Luitweiler as a peace movement, Servas International is a non-profit organization working to build understanding, tolerance and world peace.  For more information on this organization, please visit their web site here.

Podcast #21 Sponsor

The Raising Miro Podcast has  new sponsor!

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Seeking Intentional Community

Miro and Lainie are still in Panama and will remain there throughout the holidays. Sometime after the new year, they will venture into South America and continue their journey southward. They have been reaching out to all of our contacts and asking for references for conscious communities, eco- villages, sustainable farms and volunteer opportunities. Lainie loves working with children, Miro loves working with animals and neither of them have ever worked on a farm, but they’re open to whatever opportunities come their way. Their desire for the first few months of the new year is to participate , volunteer their time and energies. Lainie would really like to be part of an intentional community, one that practices mediation, lives consciously and gives back to the surrounding community, helping to make locals lives a little easier. They are putting it out into the universe and making it known. If you have any suggestions or contacts for us in South America, please don’t hesitate to send off an introduction. They plan on be posting all the organizations they are considering after the beginning of the year so you can participate with their decision making process.

Thank you!

We want to take a moment to thank a few peoplewho have contributed to our travels. Your donations have helped cover our travel expenses and for that, we are so grateful! The people who have contributed to Raising Miro are: Ashley Hansen, Grandpa, Scott Van Pelt, Sashya Amee, Ivan Amador, Heather on Her Travels, Bradford Akerman, Tuan Vutran, Terrance O’Dowd, Eric Hammond, Chip Jacobs, Billy Horn and Sonia Kim. Thank you so much! Your support is heart-felt and much appreciated!

Support Raising Miro!

If you are interested in learning more about ways to support Raising Miro, including donating money or sponsoring our travels please click on this link. If you are interested in finding out about advertising opportunities for our podcasts or website, please on the site, please send a note here or use the donation form in the sidebar.


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Special Thanks

To those of you who have supported us so far on this journey, the donations we’ve received and the wonderful words of encouragement. Thank you all for your comments and feedback, and please keep them coming. Thank you Hanna for giving us a wonderful professional boost with the intro & outro, engineered by Hanna Jakobson, music “Multilayered Timbres” by Dr. Pimp courtesy of CC (creative commons) license.


  1. Erin 13 years ago

    I love this! So inspirational.

  2. I enjoyed hearing about Rita’s quest to introduce the gap year concept to US students – it’s an activity that is very well established and encouraged in the UK and Europe. Personally I agree that an 18 year old who’s just spent years studying hard for exams needs a bit of a break and a different perspective before they come back refreshed and ready to enjoy the next stage of their education

  3. Violeta 13 years ago

    I enjoyed listening to the interview, Rita is one of my favorite authors and personal heros too. What is the name/website of the organization she mentioned during the interview which is similar to couchsurfing? I did not hear of it and I would like to check it out. Many thanks.

  4. Kyle 13 years ago

    This book sounds AMAZING! Being a long term nomad is not something I aspire to personally, but it definitely sounds like it’d be a great read!

  5. roy 13 years ago

    Wow, I gotta get this book. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Author
      ilainie 13 years ago

      You’ll love it! It was a wonderful read and I hope you connect with Rita on an emotional level as well, through her experiences. Best!

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