I’m about halfway through my book “Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World” by Rita Golden Gelman and I’m loving it so far. She shares a large number of sentiments I’ve felt and expressed here, which definitely makes me feel a little less alone in them. For instance:
a feeling of wanting to actually unite with a culture
the desire to not stay where tourists do
feeling disenchanted with luxury and lying on the beach (perpetrating a tan)
never really connecting with one religion or spirituality
a passion for languages
wanting to feel connected on a deeper level than just status and careers
the distance between friends and family who think you’re not living in the “real world”
Rita experiences all of these things on her travels after she and her husband decide to take a break and decide if their marriage is going to last. Eventually they nix it, but she is able to discover herself. She makes an even better connection with her daughter, which I feel I have done since coming to college and traveling as well.
It’s all very well-timed, because I’m getting all the preparations in order for my semester in Melbourne. All of my paperwork should be finalized by Tuesday. One of the classes I have been approved to take is actually called Travelling, Dwelling, Migrating and is all about the sociology of constantly moving and people who are nomadic.
Even in my college life you could say I’m kind of nomadic. I’ve lived in 3 different places in the 3 years I’ve lived in Columbia. I’ve gotten used to being able to pack everything into my car and move it. I get better each time at getting everything tetris-style into the back of my little hatchback.
I’m excited to just get over there and get started. Another class I’m considering taking is Indonesian politics. Gelman’s book has a pretty significant chunk about Indonesia, where she lived for 4 years and in Bali, where she says she actually felt spiritual for the first time. She says that the country is 88% Muslim, with a hot spot of Bali which has a 95% Hindu population.
The culture in Australia is something I’m very curious about. Though it is an English-speaking country, they have a great number of other cultures very close by that have some influence…at least I would think. Surprisingly, I haven’t yet started counting down the days.