Where to find Sally’s words

Unpacking for Greece published June 2023! Join Sally as she embarks on a solo journey across the magnificent Greek mainland and islands.

The cover of Unpacking for Greece shows the honey-coloured stone columns of the Parthenon against a deep blue sky. A hand is holding up an old snapshot from 1978 in front of the Parthenon, as if trying to match the scene. The sepia photo shows two women – my mother and grandmother – sitting on the temple steps. There is a tagline on the cover reading: Travel in a land of fortresses, fables, ferries and feta.

When Sally sets out for Europe with her mother’s 1978 travel diary in her pocket, she is searching for the wanderlust she lost in a devastating overseas road accident.

As she ventures into the heart of the Mediterranean – wandering volatile landscapes, exploring historical sites, pairing books with places and savouring the tastes of Greece – she finds it is possible for a clumsy, out-of-shape woman on a budget to experience a life-changing journey.

In a story told with warmth, humour and a fascination with Greece’s natural and cultural heritage, Sally connects with her past, overcomes her fears and falls in love with life again, one olive at a time.

Book One in the ‘Packing for Greece’ series travels to Athens and Meteora on the mainland; Monemvasia, Sparta and Methana on the Peloponnese Peninsula; and the islands of Santorini and Rhodes.

“Eleven-Thirty” – Sally’s experimental exploration of travel and grief – placed as a finalist in the Newcastle Short Story Award 2022.

In “Eleven-Thirty”, a young woman’s ashes journey from Hanoi to Cape Town, while an older woman flees into the Turkish hinterland in a futile attempt to outrun her loss. The story appears in the award anthology published by the Hunter Writers’ Centre.

The cover of the Newcastle Short Story Award Anthology 2022

  • “Some Leafs: Grandma Gropp’s Tale” – published in the anthology Itchy Feet: Tales of Travel and Adventure in September 2021 – weaves Sally Jane Smith’s words with those of her great-great-grandmother, a woman who led an extraordinary life on four continents and at the edges of three wars. From a message in a 19th-century bottle to a modern-day tragedy, “Some Leafs” asks: should we follow our wanderlust, or stay safe at home?
The cover of "Itchy Feet: Tales of Travel and Adventure". The cover is green and shows an old-fashioned open suitcase sitting open on the grass with a pair of hiking boots next to it.. Inside the suitcase is an island surrounded by ocean under a blue sky with clouds.

Twenty intrepid authors share their adventures with you in this anthology of travel stories.

Read Itchy Feet now to travel around the world from the comfort of your armchair. No passport required.

Selection of podcasts and video

Selection of guest blogs and online collaborations:  

Older works, published in print:

  • Adaptations of literary classics for the SABIS Anthology Series for Grades Three to Nine, used as a teaching resource for students in more than forty SABIS schools on four continents, 2008 (written as a staff writer, without a byline)
  • “Peru-ving a Point” in Gulf News Friday Magazine, 5 May 2006
  • (with Fourie, T.) “Peru’s Heritage, South Africa’s Treasure” in Vuka SA, Volume 2, Number 3, 1997
  • “Indigenous Jewellery” in Vuka SA, Volume 2, Number 2, 1997
  • “Ancient Peruvian Ceramics – the Chancay Tradition” in National Ceramics Quarterly, Number 39, 1997
  • (with Du Preez, C.) “The Madiba Freedom Museum” in Vuka SA, Volume 1, Number 2, 1995