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Kim Ok—Travelling the Unpaved Road is a journey of my aspiration from desperation to inspiration. My story as an immigrant to Canada is extraordinary for its very ordinariness. It's the story of so many who seek the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families. It is really the story of all of us that just happens to bear my name. This is the story of your life too. It’s about something we have all shared: the pain and the suffering, the desperation and the struggles, the joys and the happiness, the ambitions and the inspirations.

In Korea, my family was very poor and my father struggled with alcoholism. Later as the youngest of seven children of a widow with asthma, the future held little promise. She sold fish as she struggled to provide enough food for everyone. I was always very adventurous, and as a child, watching planes far overhead, I was sure I would travel on them one day. Most of the people in our village had never even taken a one-hour bus trip. Later I became a teacher but had to give up teaching due to illness.

As a young woman, I decided to become an interpreter and came to Canada to study English as an international student. This was a greater challenge than I expected and eventually I resolved to become a landed immigrant. Not having skills that were sought after, I struggled to get employment. The language barrier and cultural differences were very difficult to overcome, and they limited my opportunities for work. To obtain residency in Canada, I worked as a caregiver for more than two years. The work was very demanding with long hours so I studied to discover the most efficient and effective ways to clean a house. I became a housekeeping specialist and learned the lesson that if we don’t do our best at whatever work we do, we can’t progress to something better.

After becoming a resident, I started a agency to help international students choose schools, obtain homestays and deal with the cultural differences. Eventually I was able to expand my business to more than twenty branches. I reached out to many cultures, offering encouragement, arranging entertainment for students and even organizing a multi-cultural festival.

Our successes come from within. When we find what we need to progress, it’s like we have pushed a magic button that makes our goals possible. My magic button was reaching out to help people around me. They were my extended family and helping them became my goal. This was my magic button.

I dedicate my life story to all the mothers of the world. My mother was the source of my fierce determination. She was strong but humble and always diligent, and from her, I learned the wisdom and the courage to survive in the world.
Published: Trafford on
ISBN: 9781466928503
List price: $6.99
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