I was born in Manchester in the north of England and grew up in Saddleworth on the edge of the Pennines. When I was in my late teens my family moved to the south of England and I went to Oxford University to study English Language and Literature at St Hilda's College. Then, unable to get a job and unsure what to do, I moved to Athens to teach English. I travelled around the islands - I'd studied Ancient Greek at school, and already loved the country - and spent a summer cleaning rooms in a hotel in Oia, Santorini.
While in the sea, I met someone and we eventually travelled around his native Guyana for three months before moving to Canada. We got married and I started my career in book publishing and although the marriage didn't last, I stayed in Canada for ten years - with travels to Mexico and the Caribbean - until I needed a break from work. I'd met someone else and we travelled to Korea together. Returning to Canada, we both missed Europe and I especially missed the sea, so we moved to France with two backpacks each, and ended up in Montpellier for two years.
Returning to England, I got another job in publishing on the south coast. I finished and published my first book, Meeting Mr Kim. I moved to the Greek island of Tilos in 2011, and have lived there since - apart from a couple of long-ish stays in Australia and on the island of Karpathos. I work from home as a literary editor and agent (my work website is www.jenniferbarclaybooks.com) and have now written and published three further books: Falling in Honey, An Octopus in my Ouzo, and Wild Abandon.
In addition to the books I've written about my own adventures, I've co-edited several travel anthologies, the first of which was AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds published by Vintage Canada (Metro called it 'wonderful' and Now Weekly said it was 'a joy to read on several levels'); since then with Hilary Bradt I've co-edited The Irresponsible Traveller, To Oldly Go, Roam Alone and Beastly Journeys. I've also written a several gift-type books at the request of a publisher, my favourite being A Literary Feast.