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Female nomad comes to Frisco

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

Rita Gelman first gained fame with her book “Tales of a Female Nomad,” which she released in 2001, after she divorced her husband. At age 48, she took a look around and thought, “There has to be more than one way to do life.” With that statement, she began traveling the world. She has been living (and loving) her nomadic existence since 1986. She literally moves from place to place, staying with friends and strangers she meets along the way. She has no permanent address and owns only what she can carry.”I move through the world without a plan, guided by instinct, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous opportunities,” she writes on her website.She had no intention, or desire, to write another adult book (she has written children’s books to make money), despite reader demand for a sequel. But then friends mentioned a book combining recipes and stories. Still, she didn’t want to write that book -but she did want to read such a book. And that’s when it dawned on her: She could ask for submissions from all the readers who told her they wanted to write about their travels. So, in 2003, on her website, she requested stories about connecting and risk-taking around the world.Three years later, she began organizing the stories and taste testing recipes. The result: “Female Nomad & Friends,” published this year.She’s donating the royalties from the book to kids who grow up in the slums in Delhi and manage to graduate from high school. In fact, she even discloses the numbers, including her advance and the cost of college at Delhi Open University. It’s clear the money the book makes will change a lot of lives -just as Gelman’s first book changed many lives, including Tara Kusumoto’s, who has worked at local independent bookstores for several years.Kusumoto wrote to Gelman, telling her she was considering a major life change -moving to Colorado to be close to her boyfriend. Gelman responded the next day:”That same courageous voice narrating her adventures in print was all of a sudden directed to me personally, giving me that extra boost of encouragement I needed to take the leap,” Kusumoto wrote on one of her blogs.Since then, Kusumoto has married that man, as well as watched Gelman’s first book impact hundreds of women and even some men.”When I hand-sell the book, I emphasize that Rita encourages people to get out of their comfort zone – connect in a new way; put yourself out there to interact with and appreciate other cultures; veer from your norm, whatever that may be,” she wrote on her blog.Now, “Female Nomad & Friends” brings readers a new set of tales from women who are following their passions, taking risks and experiencing other cultures. The book is filled with heartwarming stories and more than 30 spicy recipes the writers picked up along the way.


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