Sometimes people wonder how you were able to travel somewhere or find a particular job…after some reflection, I think sometimes the curve in the road gives you no choice but to follow.

When I reflect upon some of the times, I did something new and against the grain, it was because I could not follow the grain. I had to think outside the book. Growing up in the country (Catskills) in a fairly remote part, yet only 2 hours from New York City made me resourceful. We didn’t have a tv until I was 12 or so. We read. There was a bookmobile and I collected National Geographic from a friend reading of all the countries and the differences. We didn’t have the internet, so I played outside. We did have a beautiful in ground pool, so I swam a lot, helped in the family business (custard stand), and learned how to bake with my mom.

The lack of options might have been good and far easier than someone growing up in a heavily populated area with too many options and too many ways to find trouble.

Recessions hit limiting job choices, and improvising I found the field of teaching English as a foreign language moving to South Korea. Back then, the field was still new.

Who is to say that my separation from the military wasn’t at an opportune time? Perhaps I wouldn’t come back a whole person when the ship deployed. The only thing I notice as I get older is that I  have been lucky to still be here.

There are so many times that I might not, like many others, not be here. So when we talk about taking trips, making choices, etc. I believe you go when you have the time and the monies available. Life isn’t always safe. If I had waited, I would not have visited Israel, worked on a kibbutz, or taken the trip to Oman by myself. I took the trip, made the plans, or sometimes just saw things through as the time and the monies were available. Sometimes when you have to take an alternate route, not by choice, you gain a new perspective and a new experience.

As we get older, circumstances change, and we still have some of the opportunities but mostly we hope that we have lived a good life full of taking risks, and playing our cards. After some debate with myself, I am pleased with the play of my cards. When I didn’t always have the best hand, I dealt with them as they came finding the best options and took calculated risks which I enjoyed. I had a discussion with my husband recently and he said, “The world is a more dangerous place.”

I somewhat agreed and then I thought about the different things I experienced: seeing artillery fire in Israel; smoke bombs deployed in Korea during student uprisings; the beginnings of the recession in New York City; when is a time not dangerous? Is it just that we are more aware of this time through social media? I realized that even as I get older that I am a risk taker and I always have been. I have been lucky with the calculated risks I seized as I am still here and I can think of  10 details which might have gone wrong and I would not be here. But I am and my husband is and we are here.

Je ne regrette rien is the last word.