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Vassia

Guide Photo of Guide Vassia

There is a book I like a lot. Its final sentence reads: “It is never too late to have a happy childhood”.

I was in my early twenties when I read it and my childhood had been relatively happy. But I tend to take stuff written in books very seriously. Why had the author chosen to end a book about an improbable love story with this sentence?

It was around that time that I started to travel.

When you travel, time sort of expands. You are amazed at how many things can fit in a minimum of days. The simplest experience seems unique and majestic. Waking up in another place is different to waking up in your own bed. Even coffee tastes different.

Now think of your daily routine. When you’re always trying to beat the clock, when twenty-four hours are never enough to do everything you have to do, only to find at the end of the day that you did nothing exceptional and that the Rolling Stones’ “Time is on my side” was a lie.

A few years ago, I started my training as a theater educator for children. So I had to scrape the hardened “adult” mask off my face and remember what it is to play like a child.

When children play, you can tell they are entirely present and committed to the moment- both physically and mentally. I wonder how many of us can tell that about themselves and in which occasions.

When children play, they revel in the joy of discovering their surroundings. Everything is new and amazing in their eyes. Adults usually walk looking down at the ground, in the certainty that nothing new is to be discovered around them.

When children play, they don’t think much. They just do it. The rules are not there to control the game, but only to make it funnier. And if the game is not fun any more, they change the rules. And the game goes on and on. Because when children play, time ceases to exist.

Adults are not that comfortable with the thought that they cannot control everything, especially time.

Except for when we travel. That’s when we rediscover the child within us and its innate ability to always look at the world around us with brand-new, ecstatic eyes.

So I guess this is the story of how a catchy line from a bestselling American author, along with a continuing education program defined who I am today.

No, wait.

Who I like to be.

Photo of Founder Tina.

Tina

Founder

"In 2010, the Greek crisis hit and the country went into freefall. I was left without a job, a car or even medical insurance, and there was little perspective of finding a new job any time soon."

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Photo of Travel Designer Elissavet.

Elissavet

Travel Designer

"I remember when I was about 17, my friend asked me what my plans for life were. Sincerely, I had no clue. I had some scattered images in my head of how I imagine myself. Like photographs. The only thing in common, I remember, was that all these images were in some far lands, with unusual landscapes and distant cultures. Living abroad was something I use to fantasize a lot as a kid. It was a constant change and an excitement over new things that attracted me."

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Photo of Guide Andreas.

Andreas

Guide

“I grew up in a neighbourhood called Nea Smyrni. The first settlers here were refugees from Asia Minor. People in our neighbourhood are proud of where they come from; they respect history because many of their grandparents or great-grandparents were lost or had to emigrate following the end of the conflict between Greece and Turkey.”

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Photo of Head of Travel Design Tess.

Tess

Head of Travel Design

"Tess comes from the Byzantine name Theodosia; in ancient Greek, this means “God gives”. It came to me as an inspiration not from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urberville’s, but from a much more superficial 80s movie with Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith (Tess in this movie); I often joke that a Hollywood movie helped me in my self-marketing effort in a time of need."

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Photo of Guide Tania.

Tania

Guide

“I was about five, and I was taking part in a school celebration. Dressed in a traditional costume like all the other members of my “troupe”, I was waiting to recite the lines of the poem I had painstakingly learnt by heart. At last, my turn came. But when I stood behind the microphone, my mind went blank and my mouth went dry. Tears welled up in my eyes. Terrified, I glanced over at my classmates who, grouped behind the wings and dressed in their own slightly silly costumes, were waiting to act their part."

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Photo of Guide Niko a.k.a. Rude.

Niko a.k.a. Rude

Guide

"It must have been at the end of middle school when I discovered graffiti, although my fascination with drawing and the arts had been with me a lot longer. My new hobby began stealing ‘precious’ time I could have used for studying for school. I realised that action had to be taken..."

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Photo of Guide Christina.

Christina

Guide

"Although I loved Greece, when I moved back here after spending so much time away, I didn’t feel that I belonged in the country that I loved. The people confused me – I really didn’t understand them – and I thought about getting out again. I changed jobs over and over before I realized that it wasn’t the right job I was looking for, it was the change itself, the feeling of travelling within my own life."

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Photo of Guide Zoe.

Zoe

Guide

For the most part, my adult life was spent drawing lines.  Working in architecture and urban planning meant that I spent most of time observing cities from above, ground plans and master plans, orthographic projections, bird’s eye views.

 

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"It was as if we were shown around by a resident who knew everything about the city, its architecture, people and history rather than a tour guide."

Jim H

"We learned about the area, history of LGBTin Athens, local hot spots, and much more. At the end of the night it was like we were locals and apart of her circle of friends. A MUST in Athens if you are LGBTQI."

Ady S

"We were able to get a good sense of the city as well as make some good connections with a variety of shops and eateries that we returned to later on. Diana was an amazingly energetic guide, very engaging and accommodating. Bring comfy shoes and an open mind and you will have an unforgettable day in Athens :)"

Boris S-California