Lost and found in the pandemic

Tsz-Yan Tang
Graduate Institute of European Cultures and Tourism

Covid-19 becomes a new collective memory of people in the world. Some of the people think that covid-19 occupied their two to three years of their life which was a waste because people could not travel and had to be limited by many regulations. Many of the comments and statistic about covid-19 are negative. I still remember the news reported the number of people infected and died and the optimistic and panic atmosphere of society at the beginning of the pandemic. I am one of citizens who experienced and worried while I also had a complicated feeling since I lost something and I also earn something.

The first message about this pandemic was from my colleague. Before the bacteria really spread around the world, I was working in a foreign company in Hong Kong. Yes, I come from Hong Kong. The atmosphere was quite tense since Hong Kong experienced SARS in 2003. Most of the citizens knew how to maintain personal hygiene and we started to wear masks before the government have regulated. However, my foreign boss, who did not experience SARS, could not understand the importance of masks and challenged us of wearing masks. It was not an easy job to explain and persuade my boss the essential of masks and personal hygiene and he surrendered finally. After tackling the inner problem, the outer problems were coming which were the business and financial issue. The economics of the whole world turned down and almost all of the people believed that the worst and the pandemic would pass soon but the reality was going towards the opposite way. The profit of my company remained in the lowest level ever, and thus led to a financial crisis expectably.

However, the thing which out of my prospect was unemployment. I was one of the staff who needed to leave at this serious moment. I was helpless but I also understand the difficult decision. Meanwhile, it was difficult to find a job in such a harsh period. What I could only do was using this period of time to reflect myself, what should I do and how could I equip myself for a better future. I got the driving license, finished two short-term courses and a TOEFL test. Nonetheless, I found it was not enough. I wanted to challenge myself and jump out of my comfort zone which was applying master program.

It was not an easy decision for me since I have left the school for a few years and I was afraid that I could not follow the modern teaching system. You do not know how far you can go if you do not try. Therefore, I searched any suitable master programs online and finally I found Taiwan is an appropriate place for further study in terms of educational level, environment, tuition fee and career. The following question was which program I should target. I spent two to three months on researching and writing the proposals and self-introductions, as well as preparing other documents of master application. And finally, I am here, Graduate Institute of European Cultures and Tourism. I think it is a perfect timing to learn more European knowledge and they must be helpful for my future career since I believe that the world will open again and tourism will rejuvenate again.


I am lucky and honor to be here. Despite the annoying and complicated procedures of applying study visa and arranging many stuff, quarantine was an essential step which could not be skipped before I could start my new study journey in Taiwan. Although the quarantine policy was only 3+4 days, it was not something enjoyable and it was my first quarantine during these two to three years pandemic. Fortunately, it was also my last quarantine. I spent those seven days in preparing the new life in Taiwan, for example researching on the area where I would stay. The quarantine period was faster than I expected and I would start to explore Taipei and NTNU soon.

When I am writing this article, I was thinking that what I would be doing and where I were if there was no covid-19. I might be probably still in Hong Kong and continuously work for my previous company. I would never thought of jumping out of my comfort zone, continuing my study and exploring a new life out of my home town. This pandemic did bring me something annoying which I lost my job but at the same time, it triggered me to try something new and challenge myself. I am pleasure that I did not give up on myself during the worst period and I am grateful that I met new friends and learnt different interesting knowledge from NTNU. I would definitely say now that I do not regret on my decision and thank you for the support of my family members.