Inspiring tales from female adventurers

Today’s post is again not directly about Ukraine, but it does pertain to traveling and adventuring around the world. For my 22nd birthday this June, my brother got me a book called Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World (click the title to purchase at Amazon.comall royalties help send children from Indian slums to vocational schools in New Delhi). The author, Rita Golden Gelman, took off on her adventures as an adult, after her kids were grown and she got divorced. But that’s not really the point. Her first book, Tales of a Female Nomad, talks about her early adventures as a single woman traveling the world (I haven’t read it, I just learned this stuff from the introduction of Female Nomad and Friends).

Anyway, Female Nomad and Friends, as Gelman says on her website, is a collection of short stories from 41 authors (all but two are women) about connecting around the world. Interspersed throughout the book are 32 recipes from around the world. Stories and food: my brother knows me well! (Another note on connection: anyone who’s read my Oberlin honors thesis knows that it was all about connection — this seems to be a theme in my life!). Have just tried two of the recipes — chapati and Swedish Kladdkaka (chocolate cake) — and they are both delicious.

I’m almost finished with the book after only a day, and it’s wonderful. Stories come from all kinds of women, from professional writers to Peace Corps Volunteers (like I’m about to be!) to just plain adventurers. There are tales about crossing language and cultural barriers (or not, as the case may be), and about the kindness and generosity of so many people around the world (and the recipes look delicious — I can’t wait to try some!). It really inspires me as I prepare to set off on my own journey. It also recalls Julie Taymor’s speech at my Oberlin Commencement this past May — her main message was, be flexible and don’t set a time limit on anything.

I recommend this book to any and all people who like to travel, whether or not you’re a woman. Short stories are great for a short attention span, and you won’t be able to put it down. And on another literary note, my first Ukrainian reading project arrived today: Anna Reid’s Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine, which many Peace Corps/Ukraine Volunteers recommend. More on Ukraine soon!

7 thoughts on “Inspiring tales from female adventurers

  1. christinaluciaindonesia

    This is so great! It makes me want to go buy it right now. Also – thanks for posting the link to Julie Taymor's speech. I was thinking of quoting it (because she went to Indonesia too) and using the link, for while I will give you full credit. This blog makes me realize too that I'll have freinds around the world while in Indonesia 🙂 By the way, I'd love to come visit you on my way back to the States! We'll talk about it when you come to Boston!

  2. Katherine

    Hi! I just found your blog and have started reading through it from Day 1 : ) It sounds like you’ve set out on a very exciting journey!! I’m excited to catch up to present day in your posts and see how life in Ukraine is treating you.

    Thanks for reviewing Female Nomad and Friends, btw. I loved the first one and forget that she had put together a second one. Now it’s on my reading list. Did you get a chance to read the original? It’s a great read!

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