My name is Natalya, but you can call me Nataly. The decision to leave one’s home country is never easy, but times at home were turbulent. I lived in Israel with my family for many years, but it was not exactly the safest place. I just wanted a peaceful life for myself and my family. In Israel, no one ever truly felt safe.
My family and I started to think about where else we could go, where we could live and be safe? Our searches and discussions always seemed to lead us to Canada. I have friends in Winnipeg, so it seemed like an obvious choice.
So it was decided! I would go on the most intriguing journey of my life. I arranged to visit my friends - to see if all I had heard and read about was true. I travelled alone, without my family, and arrived in Canada, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on February 22, 2014.
I really enjoyed my visit and I loved everything about Winnipeg, especially the people; always smiling, polite and very friendly. The more I thought about it, and the longer I stayed, the more I realized my family would love it here too.
I was also thrilled to discover a career I was already experienced in, being a professional Driver, was in great demand here. Unfortunately, my time allowed as a foreign visitor was up, and I had to leave. So as I was sadly packing up to leave, I thought if my family’s future was meant to be here, I’d get a sign.
After I left, I kept thinking about Winnipeg and I began to contact different trucking companies in Winnipeg by email.
Not long after, I received an email from Naomi Henry, the Driver Services Supervisor at Bison Transport – that was it! I was very excited to hear from them, a large Canadian trucking company with a reputation for safety. They even have a special “Provincial Nominee Driver Program”, which offers training to eligible Drivers on how to drive in Canada and fit in with their organization.
Weighing my experience and abilities, I decided that even though it might be hard, this was a challenge I would accept! I was able to return to Winnipeg, so I got busy and started studying for the Manitoba Class 1 Driver exam. I worked hard and passed the exam for my tractor-trailer Driver’s Licence.
It’s been a little over a year since I first arrived in Canada. It was a year of many thoughts, tough decisions, and strong hopes for a better future. My partner, Boris, and my stepdaughter, Avital, have now joined me in Winnipeg and we live happily with our dog, Bunny, and cat, Cleopatra. Our family has applied for Permanent Resident status in Canada, and we all look forward to getting our Canadian citizenship in the future.
My past driving experience paid off quickly. I finished training and am driving a large tractor-trailer unit on my own. I proved on my first solo trip that, yes, girls can drive! Ha-ha! My deliveries were in Duluth and Cloquet, Minnesota. I remembered all of my in-cab instructors' advice; each and every step - you can't be too informed on the important things. The trip took 3 days, and it was great to have the responsibility to myself. I hope to continue to succeed in what I do, and my family and friends are very supportive.
I highly appreciate the fact that Bison Transport was my “sign”. The Bison staff and Instructors I worked with have been wonderful: Naomi Henry, Rob Rudyk, Paul Jones, Eberhard Ulmer, Rennie Calder and Heiko Thielk. They (and many more) gave my first days here a real feeling of belonging.
I am thankful to be at Bison, and I look forward to a safe and prosperous future for my family.
Natalya Korchagin started with Bison as a long haul Company Driver in March 2015.
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