An interview with Rita Golden Gelman

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing someone I totally did not think I would get the chance to. Every journalist has so much trouble just getting a source on the phone, and with this magnificent woman who certainly has tons of people trying to get in touch with her, she takes the time to answer every one of her emails. Rita Golden Gelman even went the extra mile insisting her email address be published in her book– against the advice of her publisher!

I was able to have a 45 minute conversation with Rita. I got to ask her more questions about things in her book as well as questions I had personally about travel and life on the road. I’ve cut up our conversation by question, but I’ll also post the unabridged version.

If you haven’t read her book “Tales of a Female Nomad,” you probably should. It’s great. Unless you’re a homebody. But hey, even then it’s a wonderful escape.

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She talks quite a bit about her current cause, the Gap Year, where she wants to encourage students in America to take a year off after high school to spend time in developing nations (Or really any nation, though her preference, she said, was developing ones). More about the gap year can be found here.

Q1: How many countries have you been to and which ones are those?

Q2: One big question that I really had when I was reading your book:  I’m like very much the person who just loves to plan every detail of everything. How do you pack and make sure you have everything when you just kind of leave on a whim?

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Q3: Is there any one place you wish you had spent more time? Less time?

Q4: What’s the best way to, I guess deflect, people’s preconceived ideas of the US? (Rita introduces the Gap Year)

Q5: Have you always had that wanderlust feeling, and just didn’t make the jump before marriage?

Q6: Would you say that for anyone with wanderlust that it’s hard to settle down? With a house, a relationship, anything that’s long-term?

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Q7: Do you wish you would have started traveling at a younger age or do you think being 47 when you started gave you a sound or different perspective on things?

Q8: You told one interviewer you wanted to drive around Canada. Have you done it yet?

Q9: Where to after touring the U.S. for the Gap Year?

Q10: I’m studying abroad in the Fall in Melbourne. Any advice? (Rita adds plans for her next idea to publish)

Q11: Tell me a little bit more about Thailand and what it was like not speaking the language at all.

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Q12: Your current cause is the gap year. Are there any other causes you would pick up if you had the time?

Q13: Anything else that I should ask that I haven’t, or that no one has asked and they should?

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