I didn't know if I'd be able to go to India until two days before my flight was scheduled to take off.
I'd applied for my tourist visa a month in advance, and when I realized it was taking longer than they said it would to hear back, I checked in. They told me my application had been flagged because I'd marked that I was a writer/editor by profession. Apparently, anyone with a profession that could be related to journalism has to fill out extra forms, pay more money, and wait longer to [hopefully] receive their visa.
I was in panic mode for about a week while everything was being sorted.
I got so close with the staff at the visa processing office that I had one of their personal cell phone numbers. I couldn't stop adding up all of the money that would be wasted if I wasn't able to take my flights. I'd even started to make a back-up plan that included a re-routed flight to Thailand, since U.S. citizens don't need a visa to travel there for less than 30 days.
Then, two days before my flight, I heard back: My visa had arrived. I was free to go. I don't know that I've ever felt so relieved in my life.
And now, here I am in Goa, seeing views like this from the back of a motorbike. I am thankful.