Earlier this year, I felt bored… uninspired… stagnant. I felt the need to do something totally different; do something out of my comfort zone and something that would inspire me and elevate my work to the next level. I couldn’t keep still and something just kept tugging at the back of my mind. Trust me – I tried really hard to ignore that feeling but it just wouldn’t go away. So I started jotting down ideas that popped into my head Still nothing. At least nothing that I felt excited about. Then one evening, a random thought came to me: I should travel to a far away country where I’ve never been to before and find inspiration there. I started Googling random countries where I thought would be interesting: Ireland? Istanbul? Somewhere in India? Somehow in the midst of my research, I came across a fine art photography workshop in Greece called The Boheme Workshop and it was exactly what I was looking for. Fine art photography? Yes! A quintessential village somewhere in Greece away from all of the tourists? Yes! An intimate getaway with a small group of other like-minded creatives? Yes! So I did what any crazy person did, I bought a ticket to the workshop, booked my flights and hotel and soon I was on my way to Monemvasia, Greece! Oh and did I mention that this would be a solo trip? Yep, just me and with a bunch of strangers. No husband and no kids and may I just say – this was THE BEST TRIP EVER!!!!

Monemvasia is an island located 3 hours away from Athens and although the drive was quite long (especially after a 13 hour flight), it was all worth it! The island was exactly what I had imagined: ancient buildings that felt like the medieval times, cobblestone streets, a quiet island filled with charming little mom-and-pop shop, the smell of delicious Greek food, the sound of the ocean waves and just the overall feeling of a relaxed bohemian life. I had arrived and this was EXACTLY what I needed even though I had no clue what it was that I was seeking.

Note: most photos below were taken on my old 35mm film camera which was processed and scanned by The Find Lab.

The village center square
My apartment (the one filled with vines and pink flowers) was only a few steps away from the ocean with the mountain in the backdrop.
I climbed to the very top of the mountain alone and managed to get back down (alive).
Waking up early to explore the island and getting lost in the many pathways on the island.
Getting my photo snapped under the olive trees.
A view from the terrace.
The sea was only a few steps from my apartment and I woke up early every morning to enjoy this view. The water was very calm in the mornings and people came out to swim here.
Casa Palma Hotel
I stayed at Casa Palma and this was the entrance to my apartment (I think this was the most beautiful entrance on the island). I definitely recommend this place; it has 3 beds, a fully equipped kitchen and it own terrace with the perfect view of the sunrise. For the very FIRST time in my life, I took the time to watch the sun rise through the horizon and it was such an amazing experience.
A bag filled with goodies from the workshop hostess.

So what exactly did I accomplish after a whole week on the island? Well, the first and probably most important thing that I did was I took time to reflect on my life (the past and the present) and was able to gain some clarity on where I wanted to go in the future. I came to accept things the way they were and let go of the things and the people who were no longer part of my future.

The second thing that I learned was to live without an agenda. For those who know me, I love to plan. Plan my days, my year, my overall life. For a whole week, I really didn’t know what was going to happen and had no real agenda to go by – which at first was a bit nerve-wrecking but after a few days, it felt good. It felt good to not have any expectations and just see what happens. The funny thing about this was that everything still turned out quite alright – even without an agenda. In fact, since I had no expectations, there were really no disappointments.

Finally, the third thing I did was I left my digital camera in my room and only photographed with my old 35mm film camera. With a digital camera, you get to the photos right away. I also tend to overshoot with a digital camera (i.e. just keep snapping and hoping that I have one shot that will turn out good). With a film camera, I have to be very intentional and think about my composition and frame before clicking on the shutter button because there’s limited frames on each roll of film.

I truly enjoyed a whole week to myself. It was nice exploring the island alone because I didn’t have to accommodate anyone and did everything as I pleased. I also saw the sun rise above the horizon for the very first time and it was quite amazing just sitting by the calm sea and watching darkness turn into light. Perhaps it was a combination of all these little things that I came to appreciate and learned to be grateful for.

After this trip, I was inspired to combine my passion for wedding photography and my love for travel and become a destination wedding photographer. My dream would be to photograph destination weddings in the Amalfi Coast of Italy or in the south of France. Just one or two destination wedding a year would be nice.

Here are a few photos from the photoshoot (taken on my Canon EOS 35mm film camera, film stock: Porta 160, processed and scanned by The Find Lab):

Credits:

Photography by DreamBox Photography

Host: Vasia Photography

Co-host: LeLe Chan Designs

Workshop: Boheme Workshop

Florals: Da Fiori Design

Styling & Design: Adelaide Design

Gown: Hannah Tikkanen and Made Bride

Makeup & Hair: Joanna Stella

Models: New Model Agency

Dear Monemvasia…

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