I left Dubai shortly before midnight last night UAE time, and arrived in Houston shortly after 10 am today CDT. Add in the nine-hour time difference, and that's a good nineteen hours of travel, not including the two-and-a-half hours I spent at DXB checking in, passing through passport control and waiting for my flight. Fortunately the trip was relatively eventless, with the exception of the extremely heavy turbulence my flight from Atlanta encountered on approach to Houston Hobby. The strong storms that had passed through Houston earlier in the morning had stirred up the atmosphere such that the little Embraer 170 we were flying got knocked all over the place. It made for a white-knuckle experience, but the plane landed safely.
It's almost impossible for me to fall asleep on an airplane, but I actually think I managed to do so on the flight from Dubai to Atlanta, if only for a short while. We were somewhere over Turkey when I closed my eyes, and when I opened them we were over Moldova. I think I also fell asleep for a little while somewhere between Iceland and Greenland. Otherwise, I did what I normally do on long transcontinental flights: put on the headphones, lie back in the seat and "zone out" in an attempt to make the time pass quicker. However, there's only so much you can do to make a 14-hour flight "seem" shorter.
It's good to be home; Lori and Kirby missed me. My stay here in Houston will be short, however. Although it started slowly, the project I am working on in Dubai is now well underway and my return there is required as soon as possible. Therefore, I'll only be able to spend a week in Houston before heading back. My next rotation in Dubai will last an entire month before I return to Texas at the beginning of June, and the current project schedule suggests that a third rotation from mid-June until July is also likely. It's not going to be easy for either myself or Lori, but such is the nature of my job: right now, Dubai is where the work is.
As such, I'm going to try to make the most of it this week. I never thought that traveling home would feel like a "vacation," but that's exactly what it feels like. And no, I can't take any time off this week; I have a backlog of things to attend to at the local office beginning Monday morning.