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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 Head of Travel Design Elissavet.

Elissavet

Head of Travel Design

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. 

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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.

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Photo of guide Pavlina.

Pavlina

guide

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain

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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. 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 Elizabeth.

Elizabeth

Guide

The French poet Arthur Rimbaud once wrote that "Eternity is the sea mingled with the sun " and I guess there' s a little bit of truth of that in me.

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Photo of travel designer Penny.

Penny

travel designer

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

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Photo of guide maria.

maria

guide

Growing up, I had always thought that life always puts us on the right path. As I got older, however, I discovered that...

 

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Photo of Guide katerina.

katerina

Guide

I am a fan of poetry. Poems have the ability to paint a picture in just a few words… especially while traveling.

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Photo of guide antigoni.

antigoni

guide

There is a theory that claims that your name determines who you are. Antigone, the famous heroine of a Greek tragedy, defied the rules and for that she faced death.

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Photo of Guide Tania.

Tania

Guide

I was about five, and I was taking part in a school celebration. When I stood behind the microphone, my mind went blank and my mouth went dry. Tears welled up in my eyes.

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Photo of Guide Ariadni.

Ariadni

Guide

What is the difference between looking into a microscope and looking into a telescope?

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Photo of Travel Designer Aya.

Aya

Travel Designer

If I could possibly describe my life as the title of a book, it would definitely be “A Tale of two cities”.

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Photo of Travel Designer Sofia.

Sofia

Travel Designer

Stories do not change us, they bring us one step closer to our inner self.

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Photo of Marketing & PR Specialist Phaedra.

Phaedra

Marketing & PR Specialist

As any child, I was full of curiosity about life.

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Photo of Finance Fairy Elli.

Elli

Finance Fairy

Elli doesn’t really like to talk about herself, so we’ll do it for her!

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Photo of Accounting Associate George.

George

Accounting Associate

As Euclid said, the laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God. So, maybe the reason I developed an inclination to mathematics is because I was so connected to the earth since my childhood.

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Photo of Travel Designer Nassia.

Nassia

Travel Designer

Some people have trouble finishing what they start; when I was younger, I was like that.

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Photo of Travel Designer George.

George

Travel Designer

Life should be like bungee jumping: we're meant to take leaps in our lives, moments when we choose to be daring and forget to be afraid.

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Awards & Accolades

Testimonials

"A perfect day. Alternative Athens is very fortunate to have such gifted guides!"

taiter – Orkney

"Organisme très professionnel et excellent guide! On a bcp appris et avons découvert des quartiers où nous ne serions jamais allées. Ilias parle parfaitement français, il a répondu à toutes nos questions. Avec deux ados de 13 et 16 ans et une visite de près de 4h, nous n'avons pas vu le temps passer!"

Anne Sophie M, TripAdvisor

"Fantastic Night! We told our guide what kind of drinks we liked and the type of atmosphere that makes us the most comfortable and she did amazing job finding bars to fit us best. If we ever make it back to Greece, I would definitely do this tour again!"

laineyjanexo