During the layover, I met Jibri. She started talking to me about group travel deals once she got my attention. I considered either putting my earphones back in or inventing a justification for my absence during our conversation. Instead, I made the decision to accept a new person and see where it might take me.

We not only exchanged contact information to meet in Dubai, but we also joined other members of the travel group who rented a yacht for a cruise along the Persian Gulf in the afternoon.

It was completely out of my comfort zone and exactly what my comfort zone required—to be stretched to its limits! I made exciting friendships and met amazing people.