About the Author


Sally is a clumsy, out-of-shape, middle-aged woman on a budget.
She’s also mired in anxiety, but she’s not going to let that stop her.
Now she’s braving her fears to seek the passion for travel she lost in her thirties,
and to bring you the info you need to travel Greece by book.

sri lanka elephant BW2 Author

About Sally:

Sally Jane Smith has lived on five continents and visited thirty-three countries, but she gives credit to Greece for turning her into a writer. She has worked in museums, universities, a language institute, a residence for people with disabilities, an art gallery, a primary school and a wildlife park. She also co-hosts two book clubs and assists the organisers of a biennial book-themed convention. She is currently based in Australia.

In 2006, the bus on which she was travelling through Sri Lanka suffered a head-on collision, breaking both her body and her spirit. A decade on, she journeyed to Greece in a quest to recover her wanderlust – and proved it is possible for an out-of-shape, middle-aged woman on a budget, equipped only with a guidebook and her mother’s 1978 travel diary, to experience a life-changing adventure.

Sally is the author of Unpacking for Greece (published June 2023).

Writing Bio:

Sally Jane Smith completed a Varuna residency in 2018 and has published travel articles in Gulf News and TripFiction, and craft pieces in Women’s Ink! and Brevity Blog.

An excerpt from her manuscript Unpacking for Greece progressed to the top 10% of entries in the 2020 Lascaux Prize in Creative Non-fiction and was awarded First Place Non-Fiction in the 2021 Port Writers Open Literary Competition. She was shortlisted in a 2022 Writing NSW review competition and a finalist in the Newcastle Short Story Award 2022. “Blood and Gratitude”, a stand-alone piece adapted from two chapters of her travel memoir, was shortlisted in the Society of Women Writers NSW’s National Writing Competition 2022.

“Some Leafs” – the story of her great-great-grandmother’s extraordinary life on four continents – appears in the anthology Itchy Feet: Tales of Travel and Adventure, published in 2021. “Eleven-Thirty” – her exploration of travel and grief – is included in the Newcastle Short Story Award 2022 anthology published by the Hunter Writers Centre.

Click here for Sally’s publications, podcasts and more.

Writing Awards and Residencies:

  • Shortlisted in Society of Women Writers NSW National Writing Competition: Non-Fiction category (September 2022)
  • Finalist in (and included in the anthology for) Hunter Writers Centre Newcastle Short Story Award (July 2022)
  • Shortlisted in Writing NSW book review competition (February 2022)
  • First Place Non-Fiction in Port Writers Inc. 2021 Open Literary Competition (October 2021)
  • Creative non-fiction entry advanced to second round (top 10%) of The Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction (November 2020)
  • Finalist in WOW! Women on Writing Q2 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest (March 2020)
  • Week-long residency at Varuna, the Writers’ House (May 2018)
The Travel Stats:  

  • 33 = Countries visited
  • 5 = Countries in (and continents on) which she’s lived and worked for a year or more
  • 80 = World Heritage Sites visited
  • 3 = Wonders of the Ancient World visited