Born and brought up in Athens I always wanted to be a jourmalist and I was lucky enough to study it and work from a young age in newspapers and the radio. It was great but couldn’t stand the hustle and bustle of the city life. So, in 1994 I quitted my loving job and totally changed my life and moved to Sifnos. My mum comes from the island, I had spent there all the Easters and summers of my life and this is where you could find what I called “real life”. For 10 years I kept changing jobs from a waitress to a travel agent and from an English teacher to a bank clerk. I also learnt a lot about folk dancing, traditional cooking, home-made herbal medicine, trails, religious habits, customs, and realized that there is always a reason behind everything.
In 2004 I decided to do my own job, combining all the small details that made me come on the island and all the reasons that made me stay. This is how Sifnos Events was born together with some more training on guiding and culture interpretation, certifications, seminars and programs in order to get the qualifications needed.
Since then, I am grateful to work for the happy moments in people’s lives trying to make them meaningful and memorable. I do believe after all, that happiness, living conditions and quality in our life are more in our hands than we think!
Cultural and Natural Heritage is all around us. It is on the dry stone walls and the buildings, the plants and the land, the way people behave to each other, the relation with the time and the weather, the effect on the water around us.
Cultural and Natural Heritage is on an old wooden gate and on the dovecots, it is inside the Sunday chickpea soup and close to an ancient tower, it is in songs and dances and religious celebrations and also in myths, legends and stories.
Sifnos – like all islands – is not just sea and sun. It is not just the “must see” and “must do” that you need in order to get the feeling of the island. It is not enough to hear about history, monuments, names and dates. The awarded archaeological site of the island is more interesting if connected to the ancient towers and the communication system, the protected NATURA area, the characteristics we share with our ancient ancestors, Christianism and its churches built on the same spots as the ancient 12 gods’ temples.
A trekking tour is even better when you can recognize, smell and touch the wise medicinal herbs, when you hear the bells of sheep and the stories about these bells and these sheep, when you discover how creative people were before technology and how they managed to live in the environment and not from the environment.
You get to know a place if you meet locals in their everyday life, if you see how a home is, if you hear the stories that make the History, if you taste local food and drinks, if you try to feel locals’ pace and the reason behind it, if you listen to the sounds of nature, if you feel the island with all your senses.
Interpretation of Natural and Cultural Heritage is the technique and the idea behind Sifnos Events philosophy. The best way I have found to make you love my island and promise to come again!
Looking forward to introducing you to the islanders’ way!Ronia Anastasiadou