Please welcome adventurer, Rita Pomade

We are so happy to host Rita Pomade during her WOW! Women on Writing virtual book/blog tour. Rita is the author of the memoir, Seeker: A Sea Odyssey, the story of two people who meet in Mexico and fall in love.


And we thank Rita for writing this wonderful guest post:

The Benefits of Spending Time Abroad

When I was a child I refused to finish my porridge and was told to think of the starving children in China. I remember asking where China was and being told it was on the other side of the world. At five years old I started to dig my way there. I dug a hole so deep a board had to be placed over it. The next summer I returned to my hole, and shoveled until I hit water. My trip was aborted. The exploration of another culture would have to wait.

As soon as I could afford it, I was off to Mexico. I stayed seven years. My foray into this foreign culture expanded me in every way possible. Its landscape was different from anything I’d known before, from its vast deserts to its fertile valleys and majestic mountains. The landscape determined the customs and habits of the people. Each section of the country was different. I fell in love with the language, musical and nuanced in a way so different from my own. The people had an exuberance that I hadn’t experienced in the north, and an intergenerational relationship to family that made me think differently about connection. I learned about a history different from mine that shaped the thinking of the people. It gave them a different perspective on historical fact that I had thought was written in stone. I was able to see as they saw. It made me more open, accepting and broadminded.

Year later, when I was in Taiwan, I was moved by the affection couples showed to each other. I used to sit in the park and watch lovers meet after work, parents play with their children, and  elderly couples walk hand in hand. I frequented a café where every morning patrons arrived with their caged birds and set the cages next to each other outside so that the birds would have company while they were inside also enjoying their social life. The humanity moved me. I taught in Taipei and my students would walk me across a great highway to make sure I got to the other side safely. I remember a business woman in Montreal telling me she made business trips to Taipei and found the people cold. She never stayed long enough to know the people.

Every country I spent time in taught me something I didn’t know, whether it was historical, cultural or political. I tried dishes that opened my palette to tastes I wouldn’t have known. Those dishes transported didn’t taste quite the same, but I’d remember the pleasure I had when first introduced to them. Mostly, I discovered the gamut of human emotion was the same wherever I went. Whatever the cultural difference, language difference or skin color difference, other people were basically no different than me. I learned that when you know the other, you lose your distrust of the other. That we all have more in common than our culturally acquired differences.

Thank you so much, Rita. I remember the same story about the starving children in China when I was a little girl.


About the Book

Seeker: A Sea Odyssey is the story of two people who meet in Mexico and fall in love. Rita is an American part-time English language teacher and freelance reporter for an English language tourist magazine struggling to raise two young boys on her own. Bernard is a French geologist under contract to the Mexican government to search for underground thermal springs. She dreams of finding Shangri-la after witnessing a bloody government crackdown from which she barely escapes. He dreams of having a yacht and sailing the world. Their dreams mesh, and they immigrate to Canada to earn the money to build their boat.

Print Length: 330 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: MiroLand

Praise for Seeker: A Sea Odyssey

“A crackling sea story, an adventure yarn to stand with any of them – except that this sailor is not a swashbuckling, peg-legged pirate with an eyepatch but a soft-spoken, introspective woman with a keen eye and (although she never mentions it) bottomless courage… an experience most of us can only read about.” –  Jack Todd, winner of the Mavis Gallant Award for Non-fiction and the Quebec Writers Federation First Book Award.

This book will appeal to the nomad hidden in those with a dream to roam, to those who love to meet others, try their foods and languages, and it may spark something even in the most sedentary reader. Travel with Rita and Bernard in this wonderful tale of adventure!” – Goodreads Reviewer

About the Author

Rita Pomade, an intrepid nomad originally from New York, now lives and writes in Montreal. Her work has appeared in literary magazines and poetry reviews, and her monologue for auditioning actors was selected for inclusion in the Monologue Bank. An excerpt from her forthcoming memoir Seeker: A Sea Odyssey was included in two travel anthologies.

She is a teacher, poet, memoirist. She lived six years aboard a small yacht that took her from Taiwan to the Suez to Mallorca, dropping anchor in 22 countries. She and her husband navigated through raging monsoons, encountered real-life pirates, and experienced cultures that profoundly changed them. Seeker: A Sea Odyssey, published by Guernica Editions under the Miroland label tells her story.

Rita Pomade first settled in Mexico before immigrating to Quebec. During her time in Mexico, she taught English, wrote articles and book reviews for Mexconnect, an ezine devoted to Mexican culture, and had a Dear Rita monthly column on handwriting analysis in the Chapala Review. In Montreal she taught English as a Second Language at Concordia University and McGill University until her retirement. She is a two-time Moondance International Film Festival award winner, once for a film script and again for a short story deemed film worthy. Her work is represented in the Monologue Bank, a storehouse of monologues for actors in need of material for auditions, in several anthologies, and in literary reviews. Her travel biography, Seeker: A Sea Odyssey, was shortlisted for the 2019 Concordia University First Book Award.


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