Hi, this is Wolf.
Teal and I have started this crowd funding project at the request of some of our friends that want to help fund our holiday together, and meeting each other for the first time in real life!!
We are so excited about our plans, and I don't want to make my background sound sad or like a "pity party", but I do want to explain a couple of things about where I am.
I have an inherited nerve disease called CMT, that is slowly killing the nerves and muscles in my hands, arms, feet and legs. It's incurable but thankfully not fatal. I have to use disability aids for lots of things and I get weak and tired very easily, but I adapt where I can. I also have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a kind of "mild" autism, which means that people stuff is hard for me, especially in real life. I manage with essential stuff but I don't socialise and I actively avoid people as much as possible. Yay for automated checkouts! LOL
So, basically I am not quite a wheelchair-bound shut-in but sometimes I get scared that I am headed that way! I'm a fighter though. There's a lot I can do to slow the damage from CMT and I have a great little team of people helping me with that. I am also lucky to have great emotional support to help with the anxiety and depression that comes from the CMT and Asperger's. I truly consider myself to be very lucky, and that is even before Teal comes into the picture.
I met Teal in Second Life about eight years ago (I think) and we were quickly friends, sharing an interest in art and good conversation. We nearly dated back then but neither of us was quite ready I think. We stayed friends, though not always in contact, and then we got back together properly a little over five years ago, when Teal showed me InWorldz. Within a month or two, I was in love with Teal and InWorldz, and so began the most amazing journey of my life. Five years has raced by. I have done so many new things, and learned so much about myself and Teal in that time, and our connection just grows more special and wonderful all the time. It's a cliche to say that Teal is the best thing that ever happened to me, so I'll say being born was the best thing, and Teal comes a close second ;)
We have talked a few times about meeting up. If Teal didn't live on a different continent, or if we'd had the money to do it, I know we would have figured it out long before now. We'd talked about living together too, and the original plan was for me to move there if we could work out the money. The CMT has really gotten a lot worse over the last few years though, and getting a formal diagnosis last year meant that we needed to face some hard truths. Not only is traveling much harder for me, but I would lose the disability and medical support if I were to move from the UK to the USA. So we started to consider Teal moving here.
There's obviously a few "boxes we need to check" if we do that though, for us and for immigration. We need to spend some time together in real-life and Teal needs to know that she could live happily in this country - New Mexico is a loooong way from the UK in climate as well as distance! The only way we can know these things is for Teal to visit the UK, so that is what we are doing.
Having made that decision, and with the awareness that my CMT is going to get worse over time, we don't want to wait any longer, so we are renting a place to stay together for three weeks in June this year, in an area that we both love the look of (Northumberland) and could see ourselves living.
It's quite scary but we are really excited. It's not just a holiday that we both really need, it's a big step in Teal and Wolfie's Big Adventure, the next stage of our journey together. Neither of us has much money but we are going to find ways to do this.
We are both so grateful for all the support from our friends. Some of those friends have asked us for a way they can donate to the trip and to the ongoing adventure and living together, so we are setting up this crowd-funding thing. It's not something we "expect" anyone to add to, but we very grateful to those who do. In any case we will be keeping you all up to date on progress, and we will post lots of pictures and updates when we meet up for our holiday in June :)