And then the other shoe dropped …

So I’m two days away from heading out to Austin, something I’ve really been looking forward to. So much left to do but I couldn’t wait to leave.

About a week ago, I had sent an email to the woman from whom I had sublet the apartment in Austin just to check in and let her know my anticipated arrival time, etc.

No response.

Sent a text with the same info as the email yesterday.

No response.

Call her this morning and her phone rings then cuts off.

Call the number on the lease agreement. “I’m sorry, this number is no longer …”

Um … what?!

Apparently, the newest scam is to “rent” a place you don’t own. Usually, people don’t figure this out until they arrive with all their belongings to discover that the people in the place didn’t know it had been rented.

I’m a smart woman. My scam radar is always up. But there was nothing along the way that triggered a warning. She sent a rental agreement that looked official and aboveboard. All kinds of things that seemed normal and professional.

Until these past few days.

I had paid for two months rent plus a deposit. I’m out about $2,300.

So now I don’t have anywhere to stay in Austin. I had initially planned to stay only a week or so and live in the trailer. But I was so excited at the idea of having a full apartment to myself, especially at a reasonable rate. (The rate wasn’t low enough for me to think it was a scam.) And I had talked with her about possibly renting it through March, and then getting back on to the original plan to drive around the country.

So not only did she take away my immediate need, she took away almost a year of dreams and hopes and possibility.

I have filed a complaint with the Austin Police Department, who were right on top of it. Hoping they can get this resolved quickly.

I will file a claim with my bank tomorrow. I just didn’t have the energy to deal with it today.

Today was a struggle. Tried not to lose my focus, not to lose my excitement for taking the trailer somewhere.

My roomies are amazing and assured me I’m fine here until I figure things out. And while I love them so much, I’m ready to get going, despite the country being virtually locked down by COVID.

I cried a lot today. I was numb for a while. I stared at the floor a lot. I ordered a ridiculously expensive dinner, which was delicious.

And then I started planning again.

I think I’m going to do a truncated version of the original trip. Since I can’t go into Canada, it might be a trip along the southern states, then up the East Coast, into the midwest and then back to Los Angeles. Probably around two months maybe.

But I want to get on the road.

So wish me luck and hope we get there soon!


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