Irashaimase! Welcome!

My name’s Melissa, and I take full responsibility for the shenanigans that happen on this blog.

That heart stopping moment

I remember where I was when I received that life-changing phone call, the way people remember where they were when 9/11 happened, or Kennedy died. It was my long break between teaching college English classes, and after lunch at the nearby mall in Tampa, I was doing some light shopping, looking at eyeliner at Sephora.  My Air Force husband called the cell phone. After a quick hello, he jumped in with a “Hey, babe, what do you think about moving to Japan?”

Huh? I thought. I didn’t quite understand that last thing you said. The makeup was distracting me. Something wasn’t clicking–I couldn’t brain that day. I had the dumb. Or so I thought.

“Wow–that came out of nowhere. What do you mean, how do I feel about moving to Japan?”

He explained that he didn’t believe it, either, that guys in his shop had seen it posted and told him, were even jealous, and all day he thought they were just messing with him. Until he saw it himself. Okinawa, Japan. And then he called me.

“I–I don’t know what to say. How do you feel about moving to Japan?” I stalled. I was both excited, and scared. I had traveled internationally and even lived in Mexico for a semester, but this was a big league move, you know?

Trusting the gut

I can’t remember the exact conversation from there, but when he said he both wanted to go and didn’t want to go, I asked him what his gut was telling him, and his gut said that he thought we should go. My gut was saying the same thing.

So, we said sayonara to friends and family and arrived on island late in October, 2o10. And you know what? We loved it from the start. It was new, exciting, subtropical and beachy, foreign and familiar at the same time (due to all the Americans here), safe, and we were positive no one was spitting in our food when we went out to eat! People were actually polite and friendly, just because! Can you imagine?! It was like I had come home. If my home wasn’t already Chicagoland, that is.

What this blog is about

I wanted to share my love, experiences, knowledge, insights, and corny jokes about Okinawa with you all, and have some fun along the way. little okinawa is meant to be a multimedia postcard–a collection of cultural tidbits to entertain you (hopefully), and to help me to look back and remember the island long after I’ve moved away.

Contact me at melissaanazario@gmail.com if you have any questions or requests, or want to send any writing or teaching gigs (or just some fanlove) my way! I’d love to hear from you.



  1. tashastraveltroves
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 01:41:02

    I nominated you for the super sweet blogging award ( sorry i know you watch calories )

  2. melissa
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 01:52:18

    Sweet! And how did you know I was (not all that successfully) trying to eliminate sugar from my diet! 😉 haha

  3. Melia
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 05:48:38

    Great article, thank you again for wtrniig.

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