Rita Golden Gelman wrote one of my children’s favorite books, More Spaghetti, I Say!, among many others. In 1985, at the same time her kids were becoming adults, her marriage was falling apart. A two-week break turned into a two-month separation, which became four months. She used this opportunity to travel to Mexico and to places her husband would never go with her. She traveled like a backpacker, not living the luxurious life of her marriage. When she returned, her husband announced he wanted a divorce.
Gelman’s brief time traveling gave her a taste of life that she enjoyed. So after the divorce, she kept very few possessions and began her life as a nomad, never having a home address. For years she didn’t even have a phone or email. She traveled the world, starting with Mexico and Central America, then moved on to Israel, the Galapagos Islands, Indonesia, New Zealand, etc. Rather than moving quickly from place to place like a tourist, Gelman stayed for awhile, settling in and trying to get to know the people and the culture she is visiting. She visits the United States frequently, checking on her children and her aging parents. She shares her books, writes more and teaches English along the way. This book was published in 2001, and she is still living the life of a nomad after more than 20 years.
I really enjoyed this book. For me, nonfiction is rarely enjoyable or quick reading, but this was both. I couldn’t put it down as I traveled the world with Rita. At first I felt I wouldn’t enjoy it since it seemed that perhaps this lifestyle was going to tear apart her marriage, but it was more a falling apart of the marriage that led to Rita’s rediscovery of herself and her love for this way of living. I didn’t always agree with Rita’s choices but that didn’t make the book any less fun to read.
Rated: Mild. I don’t remember any bad language; if there was, it was minimal and mild. Sexual references are mild: there are brief, non descriptive references to sexual encounters she has. There are references to the nakedness and tribal coverings of different cultures she visits.