This morning I saw that over 700 people read yesterdays blog entry, or at least they clicked on to read it even if they didn't get passed the headline. That's a lot of people. If just those people had then gone and donated £10 I'd be phoning motels to book us some rooms right now instead of trying to type in gloves so my fingers don't freeze to the keyboard (gloves a customer bought me as she felt sorry for me - not really sure how I feel about that but I am most grateful to now have warm fingers :) )

I also saw many people had hit the +1 button (I believe this means they shared my blog page by doing so? Not entirely sure how Google's social media works).  So many people also visited the fundraising page, yet not one penny was donated. That got me thinking - never a good thing for my little brain cell making it do some work - that the way I worded my description must have been putting people off. There would surely have been one people in those hundreds who looked that was kind enough to get the ball rolling? So, I had a re-think and came up with something a bit different, trying to add a touch of humour and trying not to sound too hard like I am begging or feeling all woe-is-me (nobody likes a woe-is-me). I figured I was trying too hard to sell the trip rather than let people know who I am and why I want to go. Below is the new wording. Let me know what you think! Better still, if you like it and it's a change for the better how about you hop on over to the fundraising page and be my very first donor. You know how much it would be appreciated and how greatly received it would be. 

Have you ever imagined yourself on a cruise ship out in the middle of the caribbean, traipsing around busy foreign cities being herded along with everyone else, or just laying on a beach in the sun?

Me neither. I’m terrified of boats and water (40 minutes on the Isle of Wight ferry and I can’t wait to get my feet back on solid ground) endless days bobbing about in oceans would be like a living nightmare for me. As for cities and shopping. While it would be lovely to see the architecture, museums and art galleries in most cities, just the thought of so many people in one place makes me shudder. Jossling against crowds 10 deep to view the Mona Lisa, being herded along the streets of New York wanting to take a left at an intersection unable to because of the sheer amount of people. Crossing the bridges of the Danube or Seine trying to get a photo as everyone else tries to do the same thing. I’ve tried before to experience the culture in beautiful european cities, had to give up due to hour long queues to get into places. I spent an hour in our very own Natural History Museum caught in the middle of umpteen different school groups, unable to move unless they did - I saw a few bones here and there but not one of the full blown dinosaurs (do they even really have any?). As for beaches, where do I begin? The sun hates me, passionately hates me. I’m one of those people who needs factor 60 sunblock during the winter. In the summer months it doesn’t even need to be out to play. Hiding behind the clouds it can still get me. An hour on the beach and I’d make a great spit roast for any cannibals out there.

How do I imagine my perfect vacation then? That’s easy. I see myself crossing the great open plains of the American midwest. Hiking the trails in Yellowstone National Park. Exploring the moonlike landscape of the Badlands. Standing on the very hill where Custer took his last stand. I envision mud bubbling, steam spurting from the ground, eagles soaring freely overhead, bison roaming, bears digging for roots and grubs to fatten themselves up for winter. I see saloon bars in old wild west towns like Deadwood which still have sawdust on the floor. Art galleries and horse saddles for seats in restaurants at Jackson Hole. Lakes in the Grand Teton National Park with water so blue you can see the stones at the bottom hundreds of feet below. Blow up boats floating gently down the Snake River where beavers can be seen building dams; if you’re really lucky an elusive moose may come into view and hang around long enough to snap off a photo before it hides itself away again. There will be crowds in some places - I’m sure watching Old Faithful do his thing will draw in a few people, certain viewpoints on the way will have a dozen or so people also trying to take in breathtaking scenery -  for the most part though it will be a case of long roads driven for miles without passing another vehicle, maybe spotting a working cowboy tending his herd in the distance. That’s how envision the perfect vacation; that’s what I daydream about on long, cold days at work. That’s why I am here.

The kind of trip I dream of doesn’t come cheap. For 2 people travelling out of season over 3 weeks sharing a basic motel room with a small hire car, fuel, entry into the parks and budget airline flights it will cost between £8000 - £10000. That’s more than I earn in a year, more than I could ever afford to raise on my own (I currently have £400 I’ve managed to save over 2 years and have a few bits and pieces I’m trying to sell to help go towards it).

I’m here because I’d like your help to make my daydream a reality. I’ve set no time limit on how quickly I want to raise the funds - it takes as long as it takes.

If someone reading this has just won the lotto and wants to donate more - £15k £20k or even £30k then please don’t be put off. I’d invest it in separate rooms (still in basic motels) and upgrade the flights to premium economy (the extra legroom always helps on a long haul flight :) ).