Maria is a half-Greek, half-American, freelance copywriter and PR living a full and happy life in Athens with her two rascal todder boys, her tea-drinking British hubby and a rather ridiculously moody cat.
TBG: What is your blog about?
MCW: My blog started off as a way for me to document our every day lives in Greece. Over time, I started to focus my writing on our experiences, as a family, of discovering a child-friendly Athens. There are so many wonderful things to do with young kids in this big, bright city and I want to share them with other parents.
TBG: Why did you start your blog?
MCW: I started the first incarnation of my blog as a way to document our move from London to Athens. Along my blogging journey, I discovered that I love to write and that I really enjoy taking and editing photos. Keeping a blog kept my creative juices flowing. Eventually, I wanted to find a purpose for my blog and use it as a way to satisfy a need.
Once I had children, I found that I was spending so much time looking for different activities and places to visit in Athens that we could all enjoy as a family. It struck me that it might be useful to write about the places we discover so that other parents can get some inspiration, too!
TBG: What is one of your most viewed posts you’d like to share with us?
MCW: This is going to sound like one of those ‘dog-ate-my-homework’ excuses but I recently moved my blog over from Blogger to WordPress so I’ve lost all of my previous stats (heartbreaking, I know). But this is a post I wrote over the winter about our trip to the wonderful Parko Flisvou in Southern Athens.
TBG: What was one of the most memorable trips you’ve taken and written about on your blog — and why?
MCW: We travel to the island of Aegina often because my dad lives there and my boys love it. I featured Aegina in my writing a few times back when it was a more personal blog. It’s not quite a review of the island – more of a personal account of our weekend – but this is a post (and trip) I enjoyed very much.
This question just prompted me to add a review of Aegina to my editorial calendar!
TBG: What do you like most about blogging about Greece?
MCW: I love blogging about Greece because the country makes it easy! Greece is so naturally beautiful and there is such a variety of things to do that it is so easy to fall in love it. When you’re as in love with a place as I am with Greece, the words just flow from the heart and onto the screen. It’s almost effortless. I’m also very passionate about photography – and we all know there’s no lack of stunning locales to photograph in Greece. This country is every travel blogger’s dream.
TBG: Give us one travel tip for those who have not traveled to Greece yet.
MCW: Don’t ignore Athens. Sure, the islands are beautiful and each one is special in its own way. But, if possible, every trip to Greece should include a night or two, at least, in Athens. The city – and its surrounding areas – is buzzing with culture, history, fantastic food and a truly electric atmosphere. It deserves to be explored fully and like a true local.
TBG: Any advice for new bloggers?
MCW: Don’t feel pressure to write in any specific way. Stay true to your voice and write about things that you’re comfortable with and truly passionate about. Find your niche and become the go-to blogger for that niche. There’s an audience for everything. The key is to find where that audience hangs out online and to communicate and engage with them in a smart and authentic way.
TBG: One place in Greece AND in the world you’d love to visit in the future that you have not been to yet.
MCW: I really want to visit the Zagorochoria in Central Greece. Woodland, rivers, lakes and forested mountains are not typically associated with Greece, but the middle of the country is primarily made up of this landscape and I’m aching to experience it!
Japan is at the very top of my list of places I’d like to visit. My husband recently travelled to Tokyo and he came back raving about the food (Kobe beef. Yum!). I’m definitely a foodie at heart so I want to go wherever I’ll find tasty and unique food experiences. The culture, history and landscape are also very fascinating to me.
TBG: One place in the world AND in Greece you could visit over and over again.
MCW: I adore the States: my first homeland. I’ve had amazing experiences every time I’ve visited. I’ve explored both the West Coast and the East Coast so I need to get my act together and conquer the Mid-West and the South. I could go back to the States a million times and never ever get bored of it.
The one place in Greece I could visit over and over again is the island that my family comes from, Chios. It’s the fifth largest of the Greek islands and has so much to offer anyone who visits. So many charming and unique little towns, each with their own identity. It’s the most wonderful island to do a road trip around. The memories I have from summers spent there as a teen are absolutely priceless. I can’t wait until my boys start making memories of their own.
TBG: If you could invite five famous people to your fabulous upcoming dinner party — who would make your list?
MCW: Steve Carrell because he is one of the funniest people around (and apparently he’s one of the nicest guys in Hollywood). Arianna Huffington because she’s so driven and focused and she sounds like the nicest, warmest most optimistic lady. A true inspiration. Tom Hanks because I just straight up love him. Graham Norton, because, again, he makes me laugh like no other presenter and he seems like a wonderful man. And finally, Jamie Oliver because my fabulous dinner would be a pot luck dinner and he’d bring the best food.
But really, I just want to have dinner with a bunch of comedians. That would make me ridiculously happy.