Tag Archives: travel books

Book review: Rita Golden Gelman’s “Tales of a Female Nomad”

I’m still hunting for travel literature and devouring every single one I can get my hands on. My latest? Rita Golden Gelman’s “Tales of a Female Nomad”

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Golden Gelman is a children’s book author, who similarly to Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love), goes through a divorce, sells her possesions and then takes off alone, with a dream of seeing the world, and living among people of another culture. To this day, (she’s now in her seventies) she lives as a nomad.

Nomad: a person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer.

During the course of the book, Rita visits and lives in:

  • Mexico
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Israel
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Indonesia
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand

(The above countries in bold are places Tom and I hope to visit.)

I loved this book. On goodreads, I gave it four out of five stars. (Had it been a mark out of ten, I’d have given it 9/10)

What inspired me most was how she lived with local people, became a part of their daily life, and paid back their favours by teaching English and helping them with writing.

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I loved how Golden Gelman met local people, many of whom she didn’t share a common language with, and experienced their way of life. I find this concept very life-afirming. At the end of the book she asks the reader to get in touch. I’ve just sent her an email.

I completely empathise with the sense of freedom that travel gives. I can’t wait to experience it again. Oh how my feet itch!

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Book review: Michael Palin’s Full Circle

I’ve still got my head stuck in every travel book going. My friend Luke lent me this one. (Luke is also in the throws of quitting his job and going off to see the world. I’m especially jealous of his planned Trans-Siberian express and Route 66 trips)

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I grew up watching Monty Python, so I know Michael Palin, but I must admit I haven’t got round to watching his TV shows.

Full Circle is the book Palin wrote to accompany the documentary made when he took a 10-month, 50,000 mile (80,000 km) around the rim of the Pacific Ocean in 1995 and 1996.

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On his journey, Palin and the film crew visit Russia, Japan, South Korea (they were not allowed to travel very far in North Korea), China,  Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, AustraliaNew Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

(The above bold countries are the ones that we will definitely visit next year, so were of particular interest.)

It was a slow read, and at points I did find it heavy going. This was mainly due to the fact that I’m not used to non-fiction, and a journal layout.

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The book was an interesting insight into the lives of the people living and working on shores of the Pacific. I gave it 3/5 stars on goodreads.

Although there were enjoyable moments that made me giggle, I feel that the trip lends itself better to the visuals of television rather than the written word.

Let the wanderlust feeding ever continue!

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Book Review: Rosie Swale Pope’s ‘Just a Little Run Around the World’

 

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Those who know me will know that I am, and always have been, a massive bookworm. Since planning our travels, all I’ve wanted to read is books about adventures and travelling. I’m planning on doing regular travel book reviews on the blog.

In my hunt for my next read, I came across Rosie Swale Pope’s ‘Just a Little Run Around the World.‘ – A non-fiction book about a woman who tragically loses her husband to cancer, and then decides to literally run around the world over five years in order to raise awareness, encourage regular health checks, and to grieve her husband.

 

It’s a bit unclear in the above photo (I’ll get my camera sorted soon, I promise) but the tagline reads: ‘5 years, 3 packs of wolves and 53 pairs of shoes.’

I loved this book. I normally read fiction, so it was a bit of a change of flavour for me, but I found it so inspirational! It’s one of those books that reminds you to never take anything for granted, and (excuse the expression) to grab life by the balls!

The book was an incredible read on many levels:

  •  Rosie begins her run aged 57. (!)
  •  She runs alone
  •  She covers huge distances each day – putting my twice weekly 5k plod to shame!
  •  She sleeps outside in minus 20 and worse.

I could go on forever, but what struck me most of all was her incredible positivity, even when being chased by wild dogs, harassed by drunken men and at one point, even waking up to find a naked bloke wielding an axe outside her tent!

I was also taken by how she meets the most kind strangers.

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“Never miss the chance to be happy.”

The above quote really stayed with me after reading the book. I love the philosophy that life is just one big opportunity that you can grab.

You can follow me on goodreads here.

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