Sohn Mi-na was a prospering presenter on KBS when she surprised everyone by quitting the coveted job in 2007 to become a more free-spirited writer. She recently released a new book based on her life in Paris from 2009 to 2012.
She calls it “a record of my growth rather than my travel notes” and “a document of friendship and exchanges with local people”. n the book, she talks about how a city can transform a person.
Besides interviews with some prominent figures who had an impact on Sohn’s life in those three years in Paris, she also makes excursions into other parts of France such as Aix-en-Provence, historic home of Van Gogh and Gauguin.
When Sohn abruptly took leave from her work and left for Spain to study in 2004, everyone tried to dissuade her. But she was determined. “It was like everyone telling a little child who just started to toddle, ‘Now that you are able to stand alone, just stand there so that you don’t fall’. You can only learn how to walk and run by moving forward at the risk of falling over”.
The book about Spain came out in 2006. In 2007, she published books on Japan and Argentina. The reason she went on to France in 2009 was simple — she could not forget the charm of Paris, where she had spent only three days on a backpacking tour as a university student.
During her stay in Paris, she also made her debut as a novelist with “Who Drew Mimoja”, which came out in 2011. Sohn returned to Korea in 2012, and has been sharing travel information with listeners of her own Podcast. She also gives lectures to share her experiences.
“An increasing number of young people are pursuing a freer life, rather than being consumed by high-salary and ‘prestigious’ jobs. But it is very important to be determined and ready to take on the new challenge because freedom comes with responsibility”, she says.
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