22 year old me was moving from Seattle to Chicago. I had sold all my larger possessions, and managed to pack everything that I was taking with me into one large, overweight box for transport on Greyhound. When I checked in, the ticket clerk weighed my box, charged me extra for having overweight luggage, scanned my ticket and sent me on my way. When I got to Portland, however, I needed to change busses, and the porter who moved my box refused to re-load it, saying it was too heavy. The ticket clerk in Seattle had neglected to stamp my box “overweight,” so the clerk in Portland said there was no proof that I had actually paid for it, and wanted to charge me again.

I didn’t have enough cash to pay another fee, so she made me stand in the middle of the Portland bus station with a garbage bag, taking enough things out of the box to get it under the 50 lb limit. Everything that I couldn’t bear to throw away, she offered to have shipped to me, for an additional $75. With only four minutes left to catch my bus, I agreed and threw the last of my cash on the counter (this was before smart phones, and I didn’t have a debit card, so the rest of my money had already either been wired to Chicago to pay for my apartment, or was resting in my backpack in the form of a cashier’s check.)

I made it onto my bus just in time, but had no more money for the rest of the trip, which meant I made the rest of the 44 hour drive with no food. Somewhere in Wyoming, I traded a couple of books that I had on me for a bottle of Mountain Dew and a back of beef jerky, and that was my meal for the next two days.

When I made it to my new place, my shipped belongings were waiting for me on the door step. The bag had been ripped open, and anything of value was gone.