Ann Rich

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…

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.

Elisha Rickward

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.