Rita Golden Gelman


Twenty-four years ago, Rita Golden Gelman was 48 years old and in the midst of divorce. She decided there had to be more in life.

So, she gave away all her belongings and decided to explore the world. She said it’s such a big world out there and she realized that she was only living in a tiny part of it. She wanted to see more.

Through the years, she has stayed in mud huts, simple shacks and royal palaces. She says she’s traveled with nothing more than a bag on her back and a smile on her face. She said a smile is all she’s ever needed to make connections around the world.

She details her experiences in her new book, “Female Nomads and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World.”

She says she’s also taking time off the world to spend a year in the U.S. to start a movement in this country to get kids to travel.

She’s encouraging high school seniors to take a gap year after high school and before college.

“Around the world, there are hardly any Americans out there. In this new global economy, we need people who have crossed their own borders,” she said.

Find out what she says are the biggest challenges to this movement (she’s looking at you, Helicopter Parents) and why she believes a gap year could change a young person’s life forever, including their commitment to education.