Dear Kosterina Family, The poet, W.H. Auden coined the term ‘Topophilia’ (which is Greek for “love of place”) to describe the way people experience a strong sense of place and how it drives their sense of identity and an underlying sense of belonging. It turns out we do form deep connections with places.
A study called Places That Make Us, which included MRI scans and surveys of 2,000 people, revealed that such places don’t just make us feel happy, but even more importantly, create a sense of completeness. For me, the Greek island of Mykonos is one such place.
What is it that makes Mykonos so special to me? The sense of freedom that it evokes. The happiness of its people, the beauty of its beaches and sunsets, the incredible fresh food and the fun-loving vibe of the island drew me in fifteen years in a row. Everyone on the island is in a good mood and for some reason, no one goes to bed until dawn. It is a place where I feel free of all responsibilities. Kostas and I even decided to host a group honeymoon there following our wedding.
This year, like many of you, I’m not able to go to my special place and I feel like I'm missing a little part of myself. The science tells us that a significant place holds meaning for us and activates the part of our brain that's in charge of our deepest emotional responses.
The good news is -- apparently we don't have to physically go there to receive the benefits. Researchers found that even just evoking a memory, looking at an old picture of your place or remembering it through any of the 5 senses can help you feel more connected, safe, and happy. So that’s what I did. Visit our Instagram for some of my favorite Mykonos memories, courtesy of my camera roll.
Also, my brother, Peter -- our head of customer service for Kosterina and family DJ – has put together a Greek Island Vibes playlist for us on Spotify to help bring us that Mykonos feeling through sound. Enjoy.
Peace, love & EVOO, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.
This time of year, there's always a lot of pressure to implement quick-fixes around our health to reach certain goals. But, my purpose in starting Kosterina was always to help more people create accessible, healthy habits for themselves and their families over the long-term.
We've been spending more time at home than ever this year because of the pandemic, and because of that many of us have been engaging in old pastimes like playing board games or even making crafts. But, none of those activities beat how much we've been experimenting with cooking at home over the past 8 months.