Things are really real now. After months of no contact (while visas are processed), weeks of limited contact (while the travel agents rolled out tickets very sporadically), and days of incessant checking of my email (spam included), I received my plane ticket this evening!!! I will be flying directly from Dallas to Abu Dhabi in exactly 5 days (July 19th). There’s no turning back now, and this is really happening. I am so excited to begin this journey. I was starting to believe that this was some sick joke, and that I’d be snuffed yet again this year, but not so.