Fred used to be a seaman when he was young; he traveled around the world and befriended people everywhere. Today, he is a seasoned guide of Topology Travel who comes back to his homeland to introduce Taiwan to travelers from all over the world.
At the age of 66, Fred is already a grandpa. He is well-known for his warm and kind smile, and many groups of family guests call him Uncle Fred. Children often see him as a great play partner, so whenever the journey comes to an end, kids always hold on to his hand and are reluctant to let him go.
“Guests are family” is Fred’s motto for treating customers. “When we are the ones who travel abroad, we also hope to have the best experience. And to some customers, coming to Taiwan is not an easy thing. Therefore, as locals, we should provide the guests with the most worthy of visiting scenic spots and the most interesting activities.”
With this kind of idea, Fred does his best to collect the information in order to enrich the guests’ journey. There was a time when Fred received a group of customers who were very passionate about traditional culture. “I found out that there was a free performance of traditional drama that night, and although it was not in the travel plan, I took them to enjoy the show. It turned out that the performance was one of their most unforgettable memories in Taiwan.” Because that Fred likes to bring surprise to the guests’ trip, he becomes many repeat customers’ appointed guide. To our guests, Fred is not just a guide, but more like a friend in Taiwan.
Fred is so thoughtful that he always monitors the guests’ condition during the tour. “One time, the travelers were about to take the train on the next day, but their kid caught a cold. I was worried that the temperature on the train would be too cold, and the air was not that circulated; all of which would make the kid’s cold worse. Thus, I talked with the parents about changing the itinerary a bit. They were very pleasant that we could adjust the trip according to their situation.”
Even though Fred is already a competent guide, we still see him in many seminars. I joined a seminar held by the National Palace Museum with Fred once. Watching him listen to the speaker so carefully touched me because I knew that he had already brought dozens of guests to the National Palace Museum for over 70 times, yet he still actively participated and was always taking notes as if he were visiting there for the first time. In addition, Fred will never miss a single conference for guide held by Topology Travel.
As one of the most popular guides in Topology, Fred receives a high reputation on Tripadvisor. Even so, he humbly claims that he is still a 60-point guide. “This means that I can always do better; there is always room for improvement because I can always learn something from the guests.”
Fred remembered a story that influenced him a lot. A few years ago, when he was just starting up as a driver guide, Fred was in charge of receiving two professors from the Harvard University. Not long after their departure, one of the professors corrected Fred for driving with only one hand. “I realized that as a driver guide, I have to make the customers at the back seat feel safe rather than doing things the way I am used to. From then on, I always drive with two hands. I am grateful that the guests pointed out my bad habit so that I can get out of it.”