WHAT I PLAN TO DO:
I'm going on a road trip. But it's not just any road trip. I am setting off across Europe to meet Chinese migrants in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Hungary.
Why? I have discovered a little known fact. Many of the Chinese migrants in Europe come from two densely populated areas on the east coast of China: Wenzhou and Qingtian. I am writing a book about the migrants who come from Qingtian, my Dutch husband's ancestral home.
Over the last two centuries, Qingtian migrants have ventured out to over 120 countries around the world. And today, despite the deepening economic crisis in Europe, many continue to migrate there, dreaming of a better life in the West.
My book follows the lives of three migrants, including one Qingtian man who hopes to reunite with his wife in Italy, after nearly 10 years of separation. His story is one of courage, adventure, heartbreak and love. It is also a story about global migration and the challenges facing immigrants all around the world.
I am someone who was born and raised in a land of immigrants and have long been fascinated with the story of migration: how people move from one country to another, and how, when adapting to their new homes, they must straddle the economic, social, cultural and political spheres of both worlds. As a Chinese Canadian, I have a very personal understanding of the immigration experience, how Eastern cultures and traditions can blend or clash with a life in the West.
As a journalist and writer, my greatest strength lies in my ability to chart a migrant's journey from beginning to end. I'm hoping YOU can help make this possible!
WHAT I'VE DONE SO FAR:
I have been living in Qingtian for the past eight months, embedded in a community driven by the dream of a life overseas. Here, I've gathered Chinese research materials, developed a long list of sources both in China and abroad, and most importantly, made unique, first-hand observations both as a Western-trained journalist and a resident of Qingtian's biggest municipality, Crane Town.
Now, it's time to cross the ocean and meet the diaspora in Europe.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
My fieldwork in China was funded in part by the Pulitzer Foundation with the help of a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. I also relied heavily on my own funds to complete my research in China. For the European leg of my research, I am now seeking funding to help offset some of my travel costs.
Your donation will go towards:
1. Airfare from Toronto (where I am currently based) to Amsterdam
2. Transportation costs between countries via bus, train and plane. (With the emergence of discount airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet, flights can sometimes be much cheaper than train fares!)
3. Hostels for each pit stop of the trip.
If you have any questions about my book project, please feel free to get in touch.
Thank you so very much for your time and consideration!
- (31 days)