I’m officially at the 20-day mark until I board the plane to begin my solo female trip to India. I’m still in disbelief! Purchased items are arriving, My Indian Tourist Visa application is in the mail, and I’m in communication with friends and family members of friends living in India, but this still feels like a dream! I suppose it’ll be real when my family says good-bye to me at the airport and I’m left there alone feeling scared and excited. Ok, possibly terrified and excited! When I started to panic recently about landing in Rome at 10:45p and needing to grab a cab in Trastevere (a neighborhood in Rome where I’m staying) after midnight, I knew more details needed to be worked out to calm my ass down. Rome was the last place I thought I’d have any panic about.
This past weekend I was reeling with stress over preparing my application for the Indian Tourist Visa. This is no joke the mother of Visa applications. The pile of paperwork I needed to send to the Indian Consulate in Atlanta was at least 1/2 in thick. Two-page visa application and questionnaire delving into even things such as religious preference, proof of name change (marriage license), proof of residency (drivers license), Disclaimer form, Additional Particulars form, A new passport photo, On-line payment receipt for visa and shipping, a return envelope, the printed out checklist, and the scariest of all a copy of and YOUR ACTUAL PASSPORT! They need to verify you have at least two empty pages available. “OMG, I leave in 20 days and my passport is sitting somewhere in Atlanta, GA right now!” Not to mention how detailed they want everything, it all has to be in a very particular order according to the checklist. I must have went over it at least ten times, my heart racing, incredibly worried that I must be missing or forgetting something. This simply MUST be a litmus test! If you don’t have it in you to get through this, forget India!
Finally with a leap of faith it was sent off! I tracked the package and know it’s in Atlanta being processed! They say processing takes about three days so hopefully the Visa and MY PASSPORT will be back in my hands next week! Whew! I’ll be able to breathe freely again then!
Luckily I’m not the first person to have gone through this! One of the solo female travelers I’m following has written an entire blog post on the very detailed steps to applying for an Indian Tourist Visa. Hippie-in-Heels is a life saver! Even with this lengthy and detailed post I was in a panic, but it would have been medlum without it! So grateful!