Paula Hagiefremidis of Mediterranean Wanderer on changing course with a summer read

At Summer Stories, we've asked our favourite changemakers for their best summer story. 

"A few years ago, I came across Richard Bach’s Illusions. Like all good books that come your way, the timing of this one coincided with some big changes that were taking place in my life. I felt as though it had literally landed in my lap just when I needed it most. In the book, Richard meets the mysterious Donald Shimoda, who appears as a messiah or guru of sorts challenging Richard with his own beliefs about life and questioning his view of reality, introducing him to ways of seeing the world in a way he’d never dreamed were possible.


Right up until the end, the book keeps you wondering how much of the unfolding story is true or just a figment of Richard’s imagination. The answer comes down to what realms of possibilities you are open to believing exist and the journey between Richard and Donald challenge those possibilities and have us questioning our own views and truths and how willing we are to see things from an entirely different lens.

Following Illusions, there were a string of books that suddenly appeared or that I felt
compelled to re-visit, that all seemed to be reinforcing the same message: Paula, they all seemed to be saying: It’s time for you to step into change.


Not long after that, I did step into change. I took a deep-dive into it wholeheartedly and finally made the decision to pursue what I love. Years later, Illusions still keeps a permanent place by my bedside table, I take comfort in it, like a companion, it forever reminds me of the magic that exists in this world and the enormity of what can happen when we make the decision to follow our heart."

Paula Hagiefremidis is the creative founder of Mediterranean Wanderer. She hosts bespoke tours, culinary experiences and creative retreats.