London is calling and I need help to get there! The following is from my gofundme campaign which you can find here: Rhiannon’s London Adventure
For those who don’t know me, my name is Rhiannon. I’m a writer (translation: poor) and have long dreamed of seeing England. When I say “long”, I mean that I can’t recall a time in my 39 years that a mention of anything British in a book or on tv didn’t stir up a feeling of longing and trigger a million daydreams. I believe God calls us to things, nudges us with desires that may seem ridiculous to others, but they are part of our path in life, part of our destiny. I believe this trip is part of my calling, even if I can’t explain exactly how yet. Obviously, money is an obstacle or I wouldn’t be here asking for your help, so let me explain my dreams:
I don’t want this to be just a quick tourist visit. I want to submerge myself in the city. I would love to live there someday, but for now, I would like to make the most of this one trip and spend about two months there. If I’m really careful with my budget, I can eat cheaply and stay in the most basic hostels (and, perhaps, occasionally on a friend’s couch); but, there is still a deficit between my savings and the ability to afford even the bare minimum. (The least expensive hostels are still more than my mortgage here in the states!) I’ll also need (occasional) food and laundry, random incidental expenses, plus travel around the city and a couple of side trips; for example, a pilgrimage to a writer’s gravesite in the southeast and a few days at the shore. I’ve seen the ocean just once in my life and only for one afternoon last autumn. I’d like to spend a little more time hearing the waves and smelling the briny air.
I was in Delaware in this pic and England is about 3,500 miles over my left shoulder. October 2016
Most of what I want to experience will not cost much. I want to stroll through parks and play the guitar in the shade. I want to write poetry and articles in coffee shops or on park benches. I want to see churches and libraries and a few museums, breathing in their architecture and their history. I want to take walks by the Thames because it feels like a really special place in my mind.
Probably the first place I want to visit in London (and maybe again as the last place when I have to say goodbye) will be 84 Charing Cross Road. After the book movie, I NEED to see that plaque on the wall where the bookstore once stood. I need to know that I didn’t leave my dreams too long, that I got to reach out and touch something that has eluded me for so many years. I need to know that this was finally real and not a forgotten wish-turned-regret when my life is over.
Since I came out as gay nearly 2 years ago, I have also wanted to go to a Pride event. I live in a very rural and conservative part of Missouri, so that hasn’t been a possibility yet. What if this year I could do both? What if this summer I’m in England by the 8th of July, in time for Pride in London to be my first pride event? I have only once been in a large gathering of LGBTQIA+ community. There were about 300 people at a Gay Christian conference a couple years ago, the vast majority of whom were LGBT+, the rest were allies. But where I live, there isn’t an LGBT+ community at all. To think of the community present at Pride when just Leicester square alone holds 5,000 people? That is nearly double the entire population of my town and only one part of Pride in London! That thought almost moves me to tears.
Due to extenuating circumstances, I’ve not been able to save as much as I need. I am hoping some of you would like to virtually take this journey with me. I will be blogging my trip and writing poetry as usual. You will get to see some of what I’m up to, knowing you helped me get there. If I don’t reach my goal, I will still be going, though perhaps not in time for Pride and perhaps for a shorter duration. If I surpass my goal, I will be able to include a few extras like tickets to the West End production of Annie with Miranda Hart as Ms. Hannigan. (I adore Miranda, but have you seen ticket prices? It barely ranks as a “maybe” now, but would become a definite with enough money.)
Click this link to read my poem “Love Letter to London“ in case you missed it here on my blog. I will put up a “London Summer” tab soon so you can follow along easily.
I’ve never been good at asking for help, but I’ve noticed God often makes us rely on other people when we least want to. Even the apostle Paul had people giving money to support him as he travelled around to various churches to preach the Good News. Amanda Palmer, the singer and writer, has a philosophy called “The Art of Asking” which illuminates the exchange between people when they undertake a partnership of seeing and being seen by one another, that one person giving money to fund another’s passion is a two-way exchange where both come away with something of value. As a Christian, I believe that all of our lives, every aspect of them, are part of our witness and ministry. As a writer, I know this adventure will have long-lasting effects on my career. As a girl who has wrestled with her faith and asked God to show her clearly the direction He is calling, I have come to this place where I lay my hopes, dreams, and needs out before you and trust that Yahweh Yireh (the God who Provides) will do as His name suggests. I have my passport, my laptop so I can write anywhere in the world, and a little savings. Can you help me make the rest of it happen? Can you be part of helping me realize this dream?
I am in a time crunch to get the plane ticket. I need some funds within the next week or two to get there in time! But if you can’t give right away, that’s alright! I will leave the gofundme campaign open through part of the summer for continued donations that will cover ongoing costs like room and board.
Every little bit helps and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Even if all you can offer is a prayer and a share… Maybe someone you know can donate and I can definitely use all the prayers I can get as I undertake this journey of a lifetime.