I’d like to dedicate this next blog to you. Yes you! Without my impressive list of supporters I would not be able to write this blog as my journey would have been over. However thanks to all you amazing people (over 120 of you!) who have supported me, I’ve been able to raise the required funds and pay my last bill to Clipper Ventures. Yes, I, Ruth Charles, have only gone and done it! You have all helped me to raise £25,000 which alongside my 25K loan means the total has been reached.
I have to admit that there have been times in the last few months when I didn’t think I would achieve this and that I was going to fail. There have been many sleepless nights worrying about what I was going to do – what else could I sell? Who else could I write to? Did I actually have along lost Uncle noone had ever told me about…?! What was even worse then the lack of sleep were the nights I did fall asleep and dream that someone donated the final amount only to wake up and realise that wasn’t the case at all! Thank you to those of you who have been at the end of the phone in those moments it has been too much who have listened to me as I’ve cried down the phone and you’ve helped me see a way through.
My thanks cannot be said enough. I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve received and the stories behind each one of you believing in me and my dream. For some, I’m doing what they wished they had done or are unable to do. I’ve become emotional reading messages explaining donations – one from a friend who is starting chemotherapy and I’m their distraction and hope that dreams can come true. For others the support is because they want to thank me for what I’ve done for them or their children. Others think I’m just plain mad (quitting a perfectly good job? Giving up London life?!) and of course there are those who would happily pay to get rid of me for a year! Whatever their reason, I’m doing this journey for each and everyone of you.
The first hurdle is complete – even though I’ve had a lot of rejection through the process. From companies saying they are unable to support me, to the first crowdfunding online platform going into liquidation and my having to start all over again, these challenges have only made me stronger. I feel that now I really have earned my place on the Clipper round the world yacht race and am proving that Sir Robin is right in saying this race is for ‘anyone’.
Now the journey is stepping up a gear. I’m in my last few weeks of work (the ‘new me’ has been appointed), the packing has begun and in a few short weeks I will be joining CV29, my new home and my family in team Derry~Londonderry~Doire. What will be the greatest challenge? Or have I already been through that by raising the money? Only time will tell and I hope you will continue to support me by following my blog as this epic adventure unfolds.
People keep saying ‘you must be excited’ and yes I am, but I’m also on an emotional roller-coaster with many endings, turns and challenges to face. Some of me can’t wait for it all to start and a part wishes there were a few more weeks to fit everything in. I am proud of myself for getting this far and look forward to the roller-coaster continuing and being able to take on each challenge as it arises.
If you would like to support me financially then it isn’t too late! The more I raise now, the less debt I return to so feel free to visit my ‘donate’ page or drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here is to Team Ruth – you are all incredible people and each one of you means a lot to me. In the darkest parts of the journey, it is knowing you all believe in me that will help me through. So thank you for joining me on the race of my life!