Ting is one of MyTaiwanTour’s senior tour guides. For four and a half years at MyTaiwanTour, the number of guests she has received has been many and the stories from her numerous encounters with travelers will last long in her memory.
When she first became a tour guide at MyTaiwanTour, Ting only had one goal: to introduce Taiwan to the world. But as time went by, being a tour guide made her fall deeper in love with Taiwan. She said: “Taiwan is your hometown, you love Taiwan for sure; but being a tour guide means you need to introduce this place, so you must understand the culture, customs and people.”
The more Ting discovers, the more she loves Taiwan. The feedback from her guests has also made her value the responsibility a tour guide holds. There was once a Spanish family who came to Taiwan to visit their daughter who studied in a university here. After Ting’s companionship and guidance, they were touched by Taiwan’s positive energy, enthusiastic people and rich customs and as a result fell in love with the island. At the end of the trip, they also told Ting that they felt sorry for Taiwan: “Why didn’t anyone know about Taiwan?” After returning to Spain, the family also became an ambassador for Taiwan, conveying the beauty of the country to friends and relatives.
Ting’s full-time work is teaching English. She chooses to be a tour guide on weekends and vacations, because she hopes her English ability will make a contribution to Taiwan tourism. “Taiwan’s position in the world is very difficult. It is often mistaken for Thailand and it’s not super recognizable. Therefore, I hope to do something for Taiwan with my English ability.”
As a tour guide, Ting’s greatest belief is “One encounter, one chance”(一期一會). Since travelers may visit Taiwan only once in their life, Ting wants to present the beauty of Taiwan to them as much as possible during their trip. She mentioned that there are big cultural differences between the East and the West. It is necessary to display the culture and customs of the East as something that Western people can digest and appreciate. It’s not only Taiwan’s appearance, but also the indigenous culture of Taiwan that needs to be conveyed to the guests in a simple and fun way. “The guests experiencing different things when visiting is our biggest achievement and takeaway.” Even now, after guests have returned to their country, Ting will still receive messages from them from time to time. For tourists, Taiwan, once unfamiliar, is no longer a strange and alienated country thanks to Ting’s efforts.
As both a teacher and a tour guide, Ting says that there is a big commonality between the two professions. Just as a teacher passes on knowledge to children, tour guides educate visitors about Taiwan. Tour guide is about communicating with warmth. When guests feel the enthusiasm of a tour guide, they are more likely to fall in love with Taiwan. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eyes”. This quote from Le Petit Prince is something that Ting would say at the end of the tour. She believes that when we introduce our hometown enthusiastically, guests will respond with the same enthusiasm. Ting maintains this belief and continues to work hard with MyTaiwanTour to let the world see Taiwan.