It’s a gamble.

Who ever would have thought that I would be required to don a “poker face” and take a gamble on so many aspects of daily life? The irony is that this Libra personality is a constant balancing act between the spontaneous and the ordered sides of my personality.

I consider myself up for a challenge, ready for an adventure at the drop of a hat and enthusiastic enough about life in general as to be labelled a positive human being.

The flip side is that I have always thrived in an organised, ordered, neat and tidy environment where I am in control of things, to the best of my control.

So, the idea of a poker face is somewhat removed from the emotional, wearing my heart on my sleeve face. (My family will attest to the fact that I cry at the drop of a hat!)

International travel is something of a minefield in these covid conditions and for good reason too. However, the knife-edge of making the trip, to wherever in the world one needs to be, and for whatever reason that it is, is exciting, for the adventurer, and stressful for the control freak in me!

Not only does it come down to the limited numbers of aircraft actually flying, but also the even more limited numbers of flights to and from various destinations. This aspect makes our planet earth very happy as the skies are cleaner and clearer, so too the atmosphere healthier, so there is an up-side to this inconvenient madness.

So it goes that a flight is searched for, tagged and then agonized over: do we hit the enter key and commit to the booking or do we wait and see if there is a better deal on a different carrier, a day later? The clock ticks, the options are weighed and eventually, usually after missing a couple of bumper deals, the credit card details are entered in and the adventure is ON!

The blossoming of spring in the northern hemisphere has been curtailed slightly by an icy wind that seems to have kept the temperatures closer to winter than to summer. Even the daffodils, the hyacinths, tulips and blossoms seem to be on a go-slow this year and their spectacle is not yet at the pinnacle that it has been these past couple of years.

This delayed temperature change is a juggling act of the wardrobe variety – the gamble one takes in either packing the thermals away, donning an extra layer, or taking the lighter coat when stepping outside could become a wardrobe malfunction and a dose of the seasonal-change cold, as a result.

Bring on the packing debacle for that on-again/off-again trip: who the heck knows what season to pack for? It’s back to the old adage of “less is more”, me thinks.

Here then is a brief list of my carry-on bag, all weighing in at under 10kg: a couple of sets of undies (the control freak in me insists on matching bra & brookes!) 1 pair of jeans, 2 collared shirts, 3 pairs of shorts with 3 t-shirts/blouses, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of slip-slops, 1 pair of running shoes and an accompanying set of shorts, crop top, vest and socks, 1 bikini, 1 sarong/wrap, a straw hat and a cardigan.

Knife-edge gamble it may be but the odds are that should the weather remain wintery, when we eventually make it across the Atlantic to our daughter, I will have her wardrobe to raid, though not the pants, hence the proportions listed above.

I am reminded of an old Country and Western song by the late Kenny Rogers called “The Gambler” who’s lyrics seem to tie in with my current situation:

“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away

And know when to run…”

It’s all in the timing and that is what is both exciting and challenging, not to mention stressful. Now, more than ever, is the opportunity to take hold of the unknown, the spontaneous and to throw caution to the wind and SURRENDER to the ADVENTURE!

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