Name: Matthias Berger
Lives in: Neos Kosmos (Athens), Greece
From: I’m Austrian from a small beautiful village called Zwischenwasser nestled in between the Swiss and Austrian mountains.
Occupation: My day job is working as a yacht broker, but I used to work in a corporate finance like Lynn.
I also work as an executive coach focusing on mental fitness. I help my clients discovering how we often live in a state of fear and anxiety caused by what we call “saboteurs.” The goal is to make the switch to taking life in a more relaxed waywith grace and ease, moving to what we call the “sage mode”. You can learn more here.
In between my corporate life and settling in Greece as a yacht broker, I took some time off and worked as a ship captain. In my time at sea I often took friends with me, and I noticed that taking people out to sea, away from the stresses of their usual environment, really calmed them down and opened them up to talk about their lives and their (life) challenges. I wanted to offer this is a more structured way, so now once or twice a year I do a “Soul Sailing trip” where I take my guests around the Greek islands, and we work together on mental fitness, connecting to themselves while discovering all the beautiful islands, beaches, and people of Greece.
Tell us your first three jobs (ever!): My first job was selling calendars door-to-door in the villages of my home province in the Austrian mountains. I was around 12 or 13 years old, and I think what I did was barely legal ;). Then I worked on construction sites in the summer school holidays, and in my late teens I made some money as a drummer in bands.
Zodiac sign?: Aries
What do you love about Greece: Greece makes an impression on you. I first came to Greece on a yacht in March 2019, just before the first lockdown. I was sailing from Italy to Athens, and I remember very clearly up how we arrived north of Ithaca at around 3 a.m. It was dark and the wind was furious, but when I saw the lights of the villages up in the mountains, I felt that Greece is a special place. We passed under the bridge of Patras around 6 a.m. and then sailed down the gulf of Corinth. When I saw the snow covered mountains on each side, I was in awe. I had never associated Greece with tall mountains and snow. I was stunned and surprised. I felt incredible.
I love the mountains and also the sea so Greece is perfect for somebody like me. I’ve been here for two years, and I can’t imagine a better place to call home. I love to read books about Greece-there are so many stories and dramas that are set in Greece. And I love traveling to see the places described in the books first hand. I traveled to Crete after reading Mary Stewards’ “The moon spinners”, and to Kefalonia after I read “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. I haven’t decided yet on the next destination, but the novel I’m reading right now is set in Crete :).
As an Austrian I’m naturally very culturally interested, so I also love discovering downtown Athens, all the various artistic events, concerts, night clubs and of course the Acropolis. I look very much forward to going to a concert this summer at the Herodion.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you: I’m a cat grandfather. I adopted two little kittens end of 2021, and they fell in love with each other and shortly before I had them sterilized, they managed to create one kitten. Their individual stories are incredible. I knew very little about cats, and people warned me about all the potential issues that can come with having them. But I was amazed when I saw how loving they both are, and their young characters.
They overcame significant hardship – Koa the male cat, barely made it out alive of the wildfires that ravaged Athens in summer 2021. Athena was dropped injured in the wet and cold streets in front of a veterinarian clinic. And now they’ve created this amazing little kitten I called Picasso due to its beautiful color patterns.
Where we are most likely to find you in Lynn’s Kundalini Yoga? Tuesday 8pm EET on Zoom ;).
The first time you tried Kundalini Yoga? With Lynn 2021 in Athens
Tell us your top tip to combat climate change: Get rid of stuff. If you don’t use it, give it to somebody else who might find a use for it. Every change of the season I empty my cabinets with things I don’t use anymore, and donate them. This practice keeps me sane and hopefully makes somebody else happy. And I work on mental fitness and emotional stability, so I don’t need to go shopping to feel good.
Anything else you’d like us to know?: I love the 40-day cleanse organised by Lynn before Easter! Finally I found an opportunity to learn more about sustainable ways of eating and breaking certain habit patterns such as the daily coffee shot.
If you’d like to learn more about my work, you’ll find that here.