Hello my name is Tina Tran. I am a boat survivor. I escaped from North Vietnam and I am now a life coach. I am a role model who lives to teach. I am gifted in my ability to transform people’s lives.
I wear so many hats throughout the journey of my life: screen writer, filmmaker, actor, model etc.
I am a former bad girl and a cool mother for my boys.
My ex-husband is a Vietnamese criminal lawyer who was helping me legally, financially throughout the darkest time of my past. We have been through so much together. I had two beautiful boys together with him, Tony and Jason, 10 and 8 years old respectively. These two boys are the reason why I can smile. They bring smiles to my face and challenge me.
My boys are doing very well in Taekwondo. The little one Jason Tran, kicks just like a junior Bruce Lee.
For 12 years of my life I was very deep into the law and helped many people while I was managing my ex-husband’s law practice.
I am an awesome life coach and am very connected to the people I help because I have been experienced and come through on the other side of so many issues.
My goal is to reach as far as I can in the world to help women and children to say no to drugs and overcome their addictions of drugs brand names, relationships etc.
I need to be connected with beautiful hearts out there to reach my goal to travel around the world with my crew to help people in need. So many people need uplifting and help. I know because of where I have come from.
I was born in Halong Bay NV to a very poor family with 9 brothers and sisters. I was the fourth child.
I always wanted to become an actress. At the age of 8 I would steal my mothers scarf to play dress up and put on plays where I was a princess, singing and dancing. I was caught several times and received a beaten from my mother for stealing her scarf. However, I was not to be deterred.
Life for a girl in Vietnam was very restricted. I was not allowed to venture out into the world on my own. However, at age 14 I was given a huge opportunity to explore my world – it was a taste of freedom.
I went through 3 auditions for a place in the government acting school in Halong Bay. I auditioned for voice, performance and dancing. Over 2,000 students auditioned for only 12 spots. Being selected for a spot was like winning the 649 lottery.
I won the lottery and was selected to join the school, but I went through Hell in the process as my mother who is a very strong woman didn’t want me to be an actress. Getting into the school gave me a taste of freedom to dream and I have never looked back.
I attended acting school for 3 years.
When I was 15 year old I went to the China Vietnam border to perform for the troops who were fighting the war. For two months with all of my classmates and other professional actors we performed for the soldiers while living underground with them. It was so dangerous to be there that they called it the “Death City”. Every day we could have been killed by the Chinese army. Luckily I survived.
I left school for the purpose of leaving the country at the age of 17. I met my first husband who shared my dream of leaving the country, we got married and had a baby.
My first attempt to escape from North Vietnam was not successful. I was robbed by the very people I trusted to help me escape, the boat owner. With 30 other people including my younger brother, first husband and 6 month old baby boy, I was taken miles out into Halong Bay, way out into the ocean, dumped on an island, and left there to live in caves for 3 days without food or water. On the fourth day my family jumped, fighting tooth and nail, to get onto a floating raft made of bamboo. Ironically this raft held the family of the boat owner who robbed us by taking our money for the escape then dumping us to be picked up by the authorities.
On my return, my parents tried to force me to surrender myself to the authorities through my sister. My mother had my sister spying on me and if I make any attempt to escape she threatened to report me to the authorities. My mother didn’t want me to leave, she loved me very much. She was also very afraid that I would be killed or robbed on the ocean.
I would not be deterred. After hiding for 10 days, my baby, husband and I successfully escape in July. We paid anther board owner to sneak us out of the country in the middle of the night. We left Halong Bay with one change of clothes to start a new life.
A typhoon came on the boat our first night and pushed it into a cave. We were kept there for 7 days with torrential rain. My baby became so so sick. I wanted to return to shore to save my babies life, but the people on the boat would not let me. Despite everything I tried to do to save him, he died.
We left Halong Bay and stopped briefly, sneaking on land in China to bury my baby in an old woman’s back yard.
On the China sea we were robbed and stripped naked by privates looking for gold. They took our gold and left us.
We were robbed again on the China Sea by Chinese boat people who we paid to take us to a Hong Kong refugee camp. These Chinese people cut the chain which was pulling our boat. We were left with a very small motor and slow moving boat to get to Hong Kong +30 kilometers from shore.
Again, we were hit by another typhoon. Our boat was submerged momentarily and was damaged. We had to return to the Chinese shore and with fellow travelers were homeless and begging for food for 45 days.
I was sold for $10 Chinese to men wanting to buy a girl (back then it cost .10 for a bowl of soup). I accepted the deal. After they had paid us and fed some of the boys on the boat, I ran away so they didn’t get what they paid for.
Through many more trials, we arrived in Hong Kong in a refuge camp. It was a devastating experience. I became pregnant in the camp when my husband was imprisoned by the camp authorities. My baby David was born in the camp.
A year later we were sponsored by the Canadian government and landed in Kalona BC.December 1984.
I live my life on purpose and know I am where I am suppose to be living my dream.
I am free and making a difference.