“It’s a little hard to put the Emerge retreat into words and describe it in a way that does it justice. What Paula has created with her retreats and how much she puts into them is something truly special. The retreat was set in breathtaking Serifos but it’s because of Paula and her unique touch she brings to everything that we really got to see and experience the full magic of this island and all it has to offer. There was not a single thing in the whole week that wasn’t lovingly and carefully put together to ensure that we all got to immerse ourselves in the beauty the island offers and leave with our creative cups full!
Without knowing it, the retreat was everything I had been needing as I was closing chapters and making changes in my life; this was the perfect middle ground and catalyst to rejuvenate, get inspired and step forward with more clarity and zest to begin the next. The week was the perfect mix of exploring rugged and raw coastlines, looking forward to every meal with some of the best food I have ever tasted, spending time with locals who took us in as if we were family, adventures (shenanigans!!) while exploring the local towns and most importantly (for me) it was full of conversations, teachings and explorations that were full of depth, heart and soul. A space that was lovingly held and facilitated by Paula that allowed me to gently see all that I needed to see as to where I was holding myself back, current blockages to my creativity and what I truly want to be doing and experiencing at this point of my life beyond my own limitations. And these honest, beautiful conversations, adventures and laughs all got to be shared with a small group of incredible women with whom friendships and support circles have been made for life.
It was the perfect set up and setting to be able to explore, understand, immerse and watch as new ideas start to develop. And things do start to change after a retreat like this, they can’t not! Within a few days of leaving the Island, new ideas and plans were flourishing and being actioned quickly and a month later, while at times making big changes are definitely challenging, there’s a clear direction I know I’m heading in and I know this wouldn’t have happened without having gone on this retreat.
I sat on the sideline for a little while wondering if the time was right to go on the retreat, could I really take this time for myself right now…blah blah blah. It seems ridiculous now, there was something that kept resonating and calling me and there was really no chance I was never not coming but I’m so glad I finally listened. I can’t imagine having missed out on the magic (a cliché word but really, when you spend most of the week in awe of what you’re experiencing there’s not much else you can say) that was our retreat. Paula is one incredible woman with a heart of pure gold and her retreats are a giant extension of this – Thank you Paula for a week that has truly changed my life, that provided the space to truly EMERGE and for memories that will be cherished forever. I am so incredibly grateful… and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year, Thank You!!! Xxx“ -Jess M – Emerge Retreat Participant
“I went in with few expectations hoping to be inspired and invigorated by the experience and now that I write this about 3 weeks after the Emerge Retreat ended, I feel an opening inside. It has stayed with me. My expectations changed as the Retreat progressed and I just went with the flow. This has made all the difference and I am the better for it. The hospitality and organisation on the Retreat was absolutely wonderful. Everything was very carefully thought out that was clear. I loved our morning sessions, doing purposeful and focused writing exercises every day. I could have done more of this! The most rewarding part of the experience was the friends I made without a doubt and my “emerging” into my Ancient Greek Soul. I hope to keep in touch Paula, you are very special”-Victoria L – Emerge Retreat Participant
“This trip was so giving on so many levels. I was blown away by the things we saw, the secret locations we went, the amazing homemade local delicacies we dined upon, the friendships I made and the things I found out about myself and the way I see myself. Oh yes. And the fun! Where do I start? Add ten like-minded women, a bunch of divine Shannon Fricke linen, sublime locations and the heavenly Carla and angelic Paula and it is a perfect storm for so much laughing and creativity. I had quite a few me ‘pinch me’moments where I would look around and watch gorgeous elderly men (complete with guns slung over their shoulder) watching bemused as we climbed ladders and scaled old church fences to throw pillow cases in the perfect position to capture that elusive shot. I will always remember dancing under the stars to Greek music after our village rustic feast and nothing feels as cleansing for the mind and body than diving into the green Aegean. I learnt a lot about styling and photography but I learnt the most about myself and the importance to take risks and to keep on learning in life. The experience was authentic, original and something I will long cherish. Thanks Paula – you have given me a life time of irreplaceable memories.”-Sami M – Creative Immersion Retreat Participant
“I was so reluctant to participate in the Lemnos Retreat 2017 for a multitude of reasons… leaving my family, the expense, fear of what I would discover and guilt over investing a considerable chunk of time away on a Greek island indulging in everything about me and my creative pursuits.
But what happened on Lemnos was magic and it was possibly the greatest investment I’ve ever made. I will most definitely be returning annually. I feel settled, motivated, made lifelong friends and have a clear direction for my photographic pursuits.
Work that I only dreamed of has found its way to me since returning from the retreat and I truly believe it was because of the impact the Lemnos Mediterranean Wanderer had on me.
Don’t hesitate… just book and await your own magic to happen x”-Nyree C – Creative Immersion Retreat Participant
“Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou Paula. I am so grateful and thankful that you decided to change your path in life and hold this Creative Immersion Retreat that I was so fortunate to be part of. I really didn’t want it to end. The activities were just so amazing, the bus was new, clean and comfortable, the bus driver Nikko was fabulous!!!! Everyone we met, everything we experienced was life changing and unforgettable!!! Something to treasure in my heart forever. Thank you so much Paula.”– Toni J – Creative Immersion Retreat Participant
“There are no words to express what participating in the first Creative Immersion Retreat in Lemnos, Greece with Paula Hagiefremidis (Mediterranean Wanderer) meant to me this year. This was an unexpected travel plan that I felt strongly drawn to go to and it proved to be exactly where I was supposed to be and with whom I was supposed to share the week with. It was a gathering of brilliant and talented women and one male that was delightful. Not only were world-class instructors in their respective fields such as the incredible photographer Carla Coulson & style icon and designer Shannon Fricke there, teaching us and sharing their magic, but also the loveliest people I had ever met in my life…all like me…drawn to come and participate in this workshop. We all had different backgrounds in the various arts, but at the heart of it, we were explorers and adventurers diving in to take a week off of regular life. We became locals in Lemnos. We shared meals, danced and laughed together. We took stunning photos of our experience. We swam and sailed in the gorgeous sea and watched the sun set, as it only can in Greece! We were all somewhat surprised at how quickly we had signed up, knowing deep in our hearts that it would be an invaluable learning experience full of joy, contemplation and companionship. I feel like the friends I made in Lemnos will be friends forever. We studied photography, styling, explored our intentions and goals for ourselves and also examined why perhaps we also sabotage ourselves in our creative endeavors. It was a week of eating the local fresh food, being with the wonderful, warm and inviting people of Lemnos and literally soaking up all the fantastic sun and sea of the gorgeous Mediterranean.
I truly feel I was changed in so many ways. My intentions for my art became clearer and so many doors have opened up for me since I returned. Being with women from all around the world and being open to each other’s stories was truly one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had. I have been to many workshops and retreats…but this was so very special. I can’t wait to go back to the Mediterranean with Paula. It was a once in a lifetime journey that I want to relive over and over…”– Ann Rich – Creative Immersion Retreat Participant
“It is hard to use words to capture the magic that was Lemnos (though I do have a beautiful number of photos as it was truly a visual feast and I didn’t want to miss a moment). An amazing group of women came together from all over the world and met on this magical island. Over five days we were treated to an array of wonderful activities that were far-reaching in terms of their experience and enrichment. The workshops were very well designed and offset with a range of practical experiences that helped highlight the skills we were learning. Paula’s love of Greece was very apparent, her enthusiasm was infectious and she was available at all times – keen to check in and find out how we were enjoying ourselves as we enjoyed the wonders of the island her family are lucky enough to call home every summer. We climbed mountains (literally and figuratively), set up a styling shoot in a picturesque local town, picked wildflowers, danced with locals under the stars and swam in the Aegean Sea. We were treated to great meals every day and fell into bed each night marveling at the day we had and only daring to dream about what was in store for us the next day. It is true to say that my time spent on Lemnos with a bunch of inspiring women was a true life highlight and one I would hope to be lucky enough to repeat one day.“– Elisha Rickward – Creative Immersion Retreat Participant
” Paula takes Creative Writing to the next level. Wow factor personified, her style sets you at ease, and allows you to feel relaxed. Trust is pivotal and she respectfully builds this throughout the Workshop. My biggest challenge coming into the Workshop was confidence and whether I could indeed develop into a storyteller, which is pivotal for my business Acre of Roses. The workshop was much more than I anticipated, it really worked through the psychological issues and helped me unlock my potential. I was blown away with the content, so far reaching, with well thought of videos. The imagery was a winner, it provided a visual cue, 3D rather than just paper and pen.
In today’s world with social media at the forefront, you have to stand out in blogging and micro posting. You have to be innovative and one needs confidence to do that. I would recommend this Workshop to anyone who needs to create content for their business or who is passionate about writing. It was such a magical day. Paula you are such an amazing teacher and mentor – so gifted. I feel inspired and more confident AND absolutely focussed on creating Acre of Stories with your input and guidance.” – Sandy M –Empowering Your Creative Voice Workshop Participant
“I have become very interested in the creative process through working with flowers and I was keen to apply this to writing. My biggest challenge before the workshop was understanding my Why, as well as giving myself permission to write, and having the confidence to do so. The workshop not only addressed this but flipped my attitude on its head. It’s as if all the doors and gates have now been unlocked and full permission has been given to throw myself into writing and creativity. I was absolutely thrilled with the content and themes covered – it really hit the nail on the head for me and where I was at. I was fascinated with the videos, talks, quotes and the journey Paula took us on and felt super comfortable with her very nurturing, open and fun personality. The activities which helped to shift some of the blocks to our writing confidence – ie the space and time to explore experiences from the past – were powerful because it made us vulnerable and therefore open to let new ideas and ways of thinking in. The workshop really removed some blocks for me and I have come away with a completely refreshing attitude to just go for it. I think there are impactful messages and concepts in the workshop that could be applied to many fields of creativity. This workshop coincided with a point in my life where I am lucky enough to have some time and space to follow a passion and I’m a bit older and not holding on so tightly to doubts, fears and what it if’s. I only wished I had come across the refreshing concepts and guidance from Paula as a young person. Your approach has the ability to reset attitudes and confidence and could take someone beyond what they thought was possible. You have put a lot of work, thinking and your own experience into this niche area. You put your heart and soul into this work and that’s where the magic happens. This is more than a writing workshop. It gave me the confidence to clear up old attitudes, inspired me to find my inner voice and helped me peel back the layers and internal blocks and have the confidence to explore my passion.“– Sarah O’Bryan – Trust Your Voice Workshop Participant
“What drew me to coming along was an instinctive gut feel that I needed to attend.
The info provided suggested a clear focus. Finding my social media ‘voice’. As mentioned on the day, I define myself as a ‘trained extrovert’ and as such putting myself out there on social media can be quite daunting. What was a day spent in authentic company allowed my true introverted self to speak from the heart. No daunting expectations or judgments. The format of the day provided a relaxed environment to commit to the task. The break up of topics and tasks nurtured that relaxed creative feel. It kept me engaged.
For me the greatest impact was how engaged I was by the short spurts of writing. Utilizing random images for the writing was fantastic. Whilst I know that I’m a visual thinker/learner, I never considered starting with images for my writing. I feel inspired to explore creative writing, reconnect with that part of my spirit, which has long been buried under the day-to-day grind.
It was an absolute pleasure to have attended this workshop. I felt spoilt, a day of allowing creativity to flourish without judgement. Both Paola and Paula were amazingly generous facilitators, creating a relaxed fun environment to explore new ideas, overcome challenges and feel inspired. Lots of people from various industries would benefit from this workshop. Those that are so technically inclined would benefit in ‘loosening’ up their thought/writing process. Creative industries would benefit from being creative without the ‘sell/presentation’ expectation on the day. They could be relaxed in creativity without the critique that often follows an industry presentation.
This workshop allowed me to get more creative with my writing with what I do daily. Not so technical, contractual, descriptive. I feel like since then, my mind is working on background connections for future direction that I’m yet to see clearly, but the cogs are moving in a way they haven’t before. I feel like an idea is brewing, it’s exciting!
It provided the opportunity to be in the moment in combining fun tasks of food/photography/ writing. It did have that ‘retreat’ feel, which was wonderful. We rush around so much in our day-to-day lives that a day like the workshop gave ‘permission’ to sit, get creative and relax into the tasks.
Oh, did I mention the amazing food? I couldn’t recommend this enough.
Thank you both. “– Paola Nicholas – Inspiring Your Creative Flair Workshop Participant
“The workshop with Paula was such an eye opener to the world of writing. There is a writer in everyone and Paula’s step-by-step approach peels back the layers and encourages and shares insights into what may hold you back and to just go for it.
It takes patience, perseverance and belief in yourself. Paula encouraged just letting go and trusting the process. I felt the workshop was an initial step for me to explore what I may be capable of with a bit of perseverance. I loved the support and encouragement that was given and received by everyone present. It was an eye opener to hear everyone’s stories and realize in the end that you’re not the only one who is doubtful of their potential you just need a loving and nurturing environment which Paula certainly delivered! She gave confidence that whatever you do is going to be right and just trust the process. I enjoyed hearing about her journey as she makes it all seem possible if you let go of your fears and just believe in yourself.
An absolutely delightful day that left me feeling uplifted, supported and wiser within myself. Knowledge is power and that was delivered by Paula and I give her full acknowledgment and respect. I enjoyed every minute of it and I often think about the workshop and what it gave.Thanks Paula for such a great day of sharing your knowledge!”
“– Flora Merret – Trust Your Voice Workshop Participant
“I had a really fantastic experience at the workshop in Trentham and loved the combination of creative writing and photography in a one-day session. As I was looking at starting my own social media, the idea of combining the creative writing and photography was exactly what I was looking for. Everyone was so lovely, and it was a wonderfully warm atmosphere in which to discuss ideas and learn.
My personal challenge was overcoming my doubts that I maybe wasn’t good enough to start my own thing – attending the workshop helped enormously in making me realise that I have a voice, that I can write authentically and time is running out to make a start! I also learnt very helpful tips to take better photographs. What resonated a lot was learning from you that the words are as important as the image.
You were an excellent facilitator Paula! I loved the inspirational quotes you used, I really liked the way you set us creative writing tasks to a time frame and you managed us, our feedback and time really well! What resonated with me was when you asked us ‘what is our Why? I needed a reminder on this and it was really timely for me to make some positive changes in what I do. I definitely felt more confident in my ‘voice’ after the day we spent together, I’ve learnt to trust and to realise that I have something to say that others will want to hear. Thank you for being such an inspirational leader and guide.”
“– Nicky Dethridge – Inspiring Your Creative Flair Workshop Participant
“My biggest challenges coming into the workshop were lacking confidence in my abilities and feeling stuck and blocked in my writing. The workshop addressed my challenges through practical exercises that I found extremely helpful and formed a foundation for what I could do to keep up my practice at home. Strategies to refer to when I get stuck have already been helpful on a number of occasions! The timed exercises were fantastic and SO practical which is very refreshing in a workshop. The opportunity to share was also hugely beneficial for learning. I felt a safe and intimate space was created so I was able to step outside my comfort zone more easily. Slowly I began to see that with practice I COULD be creative and write with some depth. This workshop would be highly beneficial for people who need to write for their job, those who need some inspiration – a boost to make a leap into their writing path or small business owners who have to do it all!
I also appreciated the personal insight that you shared with us Paula, about your journey to where you are today. It was with heart and genuine intention to teach, share and help us. The whole day was just so magical and inspiring in so many ways. This was the best workshop I have ever attended. Thank you for giving so generously x”
“– Carla Barbieri – Inspiring Your Creative Flair Workshop Participant