Today I’m interviewing Rita Golden Gelman – an extraordinary and delightful world traveler. Now 80 years old, she spent 30 years of her later life without a permanent residence. Author of the New York Times bestseller: Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, she has endless travel stories and lessons to share. A prolific children’s book author who wrote while on the road, Rita was a working nomad well before the current “digital nomad” trend.  She also edited and published a collection of stories from women travelers: Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World. She was invited to share her life and travel perspectives in a TEDx talk: The Joy of Connecting.

Rita has literally traveled around the world – living in often rural places in Mexico, Indonesia, Africa, Laos, Thailand, Guatemala, Colombia, India, Tanzania and more. Trained in anthropology at UCLA, Rita mostly lived with families, immersing herself in local culture as much as possible. “People are my passion. Unlike a traditional nomad, when I go somewhere, I settle in with the locals long enough to share the minutes of their days, to know the seasons of their lives, and to be trusted with their secrets. I have lived with people in thatched huts, slept in their gilded palaces, and worshipped with them at godly ceremonies and dens of black magic. I have also cooked with women on fires all over the world.”

Join our conversation as we explore the importance of connecting authentically with people wherever you travel, trusting your unfolding experiences, and going with the flow. I absolutely loved Rita’s adventurous spirit, her wisdom, and her fascinating stories.  I hope that this episode leaves you as deeply inspired as I am.

You can follow and learn more about Rita at
Watch and listen Rita’s TEDx talk: The Joy of Connecting

Don’t forget to pick up copies of her books:
Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World
Proceeds from the purchase of Female Nomad and Friends goes towards providing school scholarships for children in Delhi, India.

And two of Rita’s best selling children’s books:
More Spaghetti, I Say!
Why Can’t I Fly?


What you’ll learn

  • What led her to start living a nomadic life
  • Stories from her extensive world travels
  • The importance of connecting with people wherever you travel
  • Strategies and resources for finding places to stay when traveling
  • How she financially supported a nomadic life
  • Her wonderful and simple philosophy about how to approach travel
  • Not to underestimate the power of singing  🙂
  • Advice for getting started on a nomadic journey
  • Why she believes all high school graduates should take a gap year to travel before going to college



I am a HUGE fan of Jet Set Lisette!  If you like to travel or have family that live far away, it is a NO BRAINER to implement Jet Set Lisette's tips and strategies. Lisette has a super FUN and enthusiastic personality - you'll enjoy learning from her. See you on the road!


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