Inside Travel Writing: An interview with Rebecca Hall

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This edition of Inside Travel Writing is an interview with Rebecca Hall.

Rebecca is based in Greece and the author Girl Gone Greek. She is widely known was Bex, her debut novel was published in 2015 and has subsequently been converted into a screenplay.

Disclosure: Some of the links below — marked with (£) — are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What kind of travel related niche do you specialise in and what drew you to it?

I’m a travel guidebook updater and blogger. I started my blog when I moved to Greece to teach English, to let people know more about life here — and it morphed into a travel blog from there. So I guess you could say I fell into it by accident.

Greece, Greek, Flag, bell, Bell Tower
A Greek flag flies under a clear blue sky.

Which piece of writing are you most proud of and why?

From conception to birth — to coin a phrase — the process took me six years to complete and publish Girl Gone Greek (£):

She’s a feat for me and I was motivated to write her because the financial crisis had hit and Greece was getting blamed left, right and centre for a lot of things going on in Europe; unfairly being called lazy and such like.

I wanted to put ‘my’ Greece out there — but not in a financial or political way, but in a whimsical way that most people could relate to. I hope I’ve achieved that…well, the reviews seem to show me that (mostly) I’ve achieved that.

What do you enjoy most about travel writing?

Discovering unique destinations and thinking about unique ways to highlight these to my loyal readership. The title of my site Life Beyond Borders is exactly that; trying to help people realise there is life beyond geographical borders, and the borders of their mindset. So, I want to highlight the globe, even to armchair travellers.

Do you have a favourite destination?

I am biased when I say Greece because I live here most of the year. I think the people and food are both delicious (yes, that’s the correct adjective to use for the people too). The people so kind.

It’s not just the aesthetic beauty of the islands, mainland and hidden destinations, usually the people of a country make the destination, and I have been lucky to experience very kind and giving Greek people.

Lindos, Greece, Greek Phiosopher, Philosophy, Acropolis
Statue of the philosopher Cleobulus at Lindos on Rhodes, Greece.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Yes! I am suffering from it at the moment with my new book — I can’t seem to write. I am worried that the follow up to Girl Gone Greek won’t be as good and I’ll be a one hit wonder.

With my blog, not really. If I feel overwhelmed, I go over old posts and polish them up for search engine optimisation (SEO) and pictures, that usually inspires me (£):

What do you aspire to achieve as a writer?

I’d just like to be a part of something that can help open people’s eyes up to the world and different cultures. I am under no illusions that I’ll end up rich or the next Bill Bryson — but let’s try to show people the world from a different angle, challenge people to think about perceptions (£):

Are there a destination you are particularly keen to visit and write about?

I spent some time many years ago, before becoming a writer, in Norway and circumnavigating the Arctic Circle on a longboat. I’d love to go back to the Arctic Circle again, possibly see the Northern Lights and highlight this destination. I think it’s because — weather wise and culturally — it’s so far removed from Greece (£):

If you weren’t a travel writer what would you like to be?

An intercultural trainer, training incoming diplomats and multinational company workers about the culture they’re coming into and how to adapt and adjust, and not expect their host culture to adapt to them. I am looking at integrating this and becoming involved in this together with travel writing: they’d work together I think. Plus, I was a teacher in the past, so these skills all help.

Cat, Feline, Sleep, Sleeping, Greece
Let sleeping cats lie? A feline enjoys a snooze in Rhodes.

You can find out more about Rebecca’s recent travels on her blog, Life Beyond Borders. Her novel, Girl Gone Greek (£) is available via Amazon:

Further information

See the Greece Tourist Board website for ideas on where to go and things to do in Greece.

Illustrating images, from Greece, were supplied by Why Eye Photography, a photography company specialising in travel and food imagery, and available for commissions in the United Kingdom, Europe and worldwide.

Thanks for visiting MannedUp and reading this edition of Inside Travel Writing with Rebecca Hall. If you enjoyed this post please feel welcome to stay on the site and read interviews with Hilary Bradt and Solange Berchemin.

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