And as far as we're concerned, that sounds like a "difficult journey toward a goal, often complicated by obstacles" or, you know, a quest.
Like all heroes in quest literature, Alan finds himself in a doomed situation. He's a stranger in his own life and he's got to undertake a risky journey if he's going to win the day. While the stakes aren't legendary or even nationally important, they're critical for Alan.
If you're still not convinced, consider this: his trip to Jeddah places him in a culture that he doesn't understand and pits him against impossible odds for a precious prize.