Hi, I am Alice. I am crowdfunding a 5 week trip to the little island of Okinawa in Japan, where my mum comes from.
For the last few years, I have been learning Japanese by myself (I haven't had a professional teacher). I have been learning via youtube tutorials, text books and a weekly one hour skype with my mum - however she lives in Cambodia so I rarely get to see her.
In March 2015, I went for a two week trip to Okinawa to see my family who I hadn't seen for 16 years! I absolutely loved seeing them, including the new additions to the family, and vowed that I would return in 2016, but this time, long enough so I could embed myself in the culture, history and most importantly, the language! Immersing myself completely is the only way I’ll learn!
So now I am planning to visit my family (along with my mum) in Okinawa for 5 weeks (I have already negotiated this with work who have been so supportive). By going for 5 weeks and living with my family (most who can't speak English) I can fully immerse myself in everything Okinawan!
Growing up in Kent, England, being of oriental mixed race wasn't very common, and was something I shunned for years. I hated being different and even snubbed the delicious food my mother used to cook for me... for anyone who has tried a Japanese chicken katsu curry, you know how crazy this is.
The thing that really struck me when I went in March 2015, was that Okinawa is a fantastic place. Although a part of Japan, it has its own culture, cuisine and customs. It is truly unique. Unfortunately this is something I have missed out for the past 29 years but as I approach 30, I've realised that I have a dream to understand this amazing culture and my heritage. I am no longer shy, but am embracing every aspect of it... I am proud to be of Okinawan heritage!
In return for investments/backers, I would love to share with you my experiences! This would be via a face to face event that is totally free (for those of you that live in London or Kent) or via a live webinar. I will share my tips for learning a language, interesting aspects of the Japanese language, the Okinawan culture, my travels, the cuisine, the challenges and triumphs etc etc.
If you are of mixed heritage, learning Japanese or going to live in a foreign country to immerse yourself, then it would be fantastic to see pledges from you, so that we can meet up, connect and network to share learnings!
Thank you for helping me with my dream of learning Japanese and discovering my heritage
For pledges over £30, you'll receive a tasty treat from Okinawa (you can let me know if there is anything in particular you want)
For pledges over £50, you'll receive a goody bag from Okinawa
All pledges will be automatically entered into a prize draw (which will be a goody bag of treats from Okinawa)
As I am staying with family, I have no accomodation costs. I am crowdfunding for the rest of the trip and the follow up event on my return. The more money I raise, the more I can enjoy what the beautiful island has to offer and the more I have to share!