My travels across the United States are almost at an end, but before we leave for Central and South America I’m spending a few days in Las Vegas. Thus far, traveling has been a useful métier for My Year In Flux. Racking up thousands of miles along abandoned highways, past desolate windswept beaches with only giant redwoods and osprey for company couldn’t have been more different to my old life in London. It was like I was putting miles between me and my former self, with my ‘flux’ self slowly emerging as the mile-ometer ticked off the days and weeks.

My final few days here, though, are to be spent in the casino capital of the world and – here’s my problem – I really like to gamble. So much so that I try to stay away from it as much as possible, for fear of getting sucked in. For some people it is chocolate, alcohol or shopping that leaves them with a distinct lack of self control, for me it is gambling. It makes me feel exhilarated yet guilty. Gambling is truly one of my vices. What’s more, with no job and at least 4 more months of traveling and 10 more months of flux to come, I can’t afford to lose the shirt off my back.

Arriving in the home of gambling, therefore, could be agony. So this week I have challenged myself with coming to Vegas and winning. That doesn’t mean I am going to attempt the impossible – if the gazillion other visitors to Las Vegas can’t beat the house and walk away rich, it’s unlikely I will. Instead, winning in Vegas means having the best possible time within pre-defined boundaries, it means not falling into the traps set for you by the clever Midas men behind the velvet curtain, it means confronting a vice and changing the way I think about an activity with which I’ve always had an odd relationship.

I’ll offer anyone 2:1 odds I fail this weekly challenge. Oh dear, that’s not a good start….

This challenge has now completed. Want to see how I got on? Read my ‘Winning in Vegas’ post here.