Tour Guide like a Breeze ── Our Tour Guide Irene

Spending time with Irene is like coming across a gentle breeze—a light yet incredibly refreshing and healing touch.

The experience in the financial industry makes Irene a detail-oriented person.

Due to her past hard-working days at the financial industry, Irene is very detail-oriented. Before every trip, she will hold a stack of notes and jot down the features and notices for every place. If there are places where she has never been to, as long as the time permits, she will check them out in person.

Irene always puts safety of the travelers first and took care of everyone like a professional should.

Since most of the clients she serves are multi-generational family, Irene always puts safety of the travelers first. “One time, not until I met the clients at the airport did I know there were two visually impaired members in the family. It was an unforgettable experience.” Although she didn’t have time to prepare for this situation, Irene took care of it like a professional should. She made sure that everyone was having a relaxing and fun time by teamwork. “I asked some of the family members to take care of the children, so I could focus more on the needs of the visually impaired clients.” After ensuring the members’ safety, Irene let them experience Taiwan by other senses like hearing, smelling, and touching. Her attention to the details were so highly praised by the travelers!

 

” Being a tour guide enriches my life!” 

“I once led tour with a group of Israeli clients. They were so interested in Taiwan that they even formed a study group to come up with questions to ask. During our time together, not only did I learn more about the situation and the global view of Israel, but also the earnest side of its citizens.” This job allows Irene to meet with travelers from different countries; and most importantly, through their positive feedbacks, she finds sense of accomplishment and joy. “Being a tour guide enriches my life!” Irene said.

 

“Showing the professional charisma of being a guide” is Irene’s all time self-requirement.

Irene hopes that through her arrangement and lead, the travelers will be able to enjoy a more exquisite tour. “I like to bring the local lifestyle into the journey.” Irene explained, “for example, when we are visiting a historical site, and there are local venders in the alley selling fruits. Simply planning the route in advance allows the clients to enjoy some fresh fruits on the way. Or with just a little extra time, while taking in all the beauty and soothing vibe of the Ali Mountain, the clients also get to appreciate Ali Mountain Tea and learn more about Taiwanese tea culture.”

Our interview came to an end surrounded by the tea aroma. I remembered a saying in the world of tea ceremony: “One Encounter, One Chance.” This means that since every encounter is unique and cannot be recreated, the ceremony is all about making sure every participant has a great time. Irene must adopts the same mindset while treating every traveler who comes from afar.

和Irene的相處,像是遇見一縷微風,淺淺淡淡的,卻讓人感到清爽療癒。

過去在金融業奮鬥的日子,養成Irene「重視細節」的習慣。每次出團前,她總揣著一疊筆記,記錄著每個景點的特色以及注意事項。若是行程中有不曾去過的地點,只要時間允許,Irene也會親自到現場確認。

由於經常為三代同堂的家庭旅客服務,Irene永遠將客人的安全放在首位。「有一次,在機場接到客人時,我才得知這個家族中有兩名視障者。對我來說,這是一次非常難忘的服務經驗。」雖然行前無法因應,沉穩的Irene並沒有因此慌了手腳,相反地,她利用妥善地分工來確保所有成員都能玩得開心又放心。「我請家族裡的中生代多照料團體中的孩童,我就更專注地顧及兩位視障者的需求。」在確保成員的安全之後,Irene再透過聽覺、嗅覺與觸覺等其他感官,帶領視障旅客體驗台灣的山海。她的細緻,得到了旅客的高度讚賞,也承諾會將Irene的服務推薦給其他盲友。

「我曾經帶過一群來自以色列的客人,他們對於台灣非常有興趣,團員還組了讀書會,準備好各式各樣的問題要來提問。和他們交流的過程中,除了使我更了解以色列的國情與世界觀,也看到以色列人民的認真。」除了能和不同國家的旅人互動,更重要的是,在旅客的正面回饋中,Irene獲得了滿足與快樂。「導遊工作豐富了我的生活!」Irene說。

「展現身為導遊的專業氣質」是Irene一直以來對自己的要求。她期許透過自己的安排與帶領,讓來訪台灣的旅客能享受更精緻的旅程。「我希望把生活感融入旅行中。」Irene進一步解釋:「比方說,當我們參觀歷史古蹟,附近的巷子裡可能就有在地的水果攤,事先把路線部署好,就能順道讓客人享用當季的水果。或是在阿里山享受森林美景和茶園風光時,留一點時間放空,停下來讓客人好好品味一下高山茶,同時將台灣的茶文化介紹給他們認識。」

訪談在茶的話題中畫下句點。我想起茶道裡講究的「一期一會」,意思是每一次的相遇,都是無法複製與重來的,於是格外講求賓主盡歡。相信Irene就是用這樣的心意,款待著遠道而來的旅人。