Who am I and what on Earth is this?!

Hello there, I'm Katie Featherstone and if you hadn't worked it out yet, this is Feathery Travels- a blog about some seriously budget travel and the experiences, art and music I come across en route. 

 

If you want to know more about me there is some rambling information

here, otherwise my most recent entries will appear below and a loosely organised archive is in the tabs up the top. 


Thu

19

May

2016

Dan's birthday on Dartmoor.

Dartmoor, Devon

 

I've been rotting indoors for months as we "prepare" for an as-of-yet unspecific adventure elsewhere in Europe. I bounce resigned from one box to another, staring between screens and sitting so badly; my back is aching. Wild camping for Dan's birthday has become somewhat of a tradition and as the weather is starting the clear up again, we ventured out to Dartmoor to absorb some wilderness as an antidote. 

 

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Thu

12

May

2016

Tips for women planning an adventure in Morocco.

food, Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa

 

Drunkenly booking myself a one-way ticket to Marrakesh, age 20, was undoubtedly one of the most impulsive decisions I've ever made. I had some idea of what Morocco might be like, but the more I researched solo-female travel there, the more I began to wonder if I had made a giant mistake. As the weeks before my departure flew by, I got increasingly nervous and tried to arm myself with as much information as possible.

 

In hindsight I had no reason to worry, but these are the tips I wish I'd read before I left...

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Sun

01

May

2016

How to survive an English music festival.

Secret Garden Party mud
Secret Garden Party

 

Mention you're from England to any continental European and after mocking you for your cooking, they will most likely mention the weather. Although our continuous drizzle is often exaggerated, several days of downpour have the potential to make life very miserable if you're sleeping in a tent. After several summers of English music festivals, these are my tips for embracing the mud and enjoying the party regardless...

 

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Sat

16

Apr

2016

Architectural details of Vienna, Austria.

The Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace
The Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace. Note the two merlegs needed to straddle this type of seahorse.
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Sat

09

Apr

2016

"Building" in the new Dunkirk refugee camp, France.

Double rainbow Dunkirk refugee camp, France
Double rainbow over Dunkirk, France. Photo from my building friend Elizabeth Nixon.

 

After two weeks of stumbling through our daily reality, Dan and I were struggling to find any purpose. Stretching the Easter bank holiday weekend, we found lifts over to Calais and were quickly back in the build team. With its regimented streets of chicken coops, Dunkirk couldn't be any more different to "the jungle". Having never seen the old camp, I can only repeat other volunteers' stories of children trying to play in a wood turned swamp. No building materials or tents had been allowed in for months and Winter conditions must have been nearly impossible before the move.  

 

Overshadowed by the jungle, Dunkirk was just one of many forgotten refugee camps in Europe. I'm struggling not to get too political, but the new camp, set up by MSF and volunteers, at least gives a small amount of dignity back to the thousand and a half people it has space to shelter. There are toilet facilities, showers, somewhere to wash clothes and food distributions from the other charities involved. It hasn't solved their long term problems, but hopefully eased a bit of suffering in the mean time.

 

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Thu

24

Mar

2016

Camping spots that make you wonder why we ever sleep indoors.

Sapphire Coast Australia
Sapphire Coast Australia

 

This collaboration of magical camping spots has taken an embarrassingly long time to put together, but I can't help but feel proud of the result. With some of my traveller idols, friends and even family involved, it's hard to decide if I'm more excited by the contributors or the places they have written about. If this doesn't persuade you that you don't always want to sleep with a roof over your head, then I'm happy to keep the wilderness for myself. 

 

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Sat

19

Mar

2016

Volunteering for l'Auberge des Migrants in the Calais "Jungle"

Calais jungle, refugee crisis, street art
Photo credit Holly Walter.

*If you haven't got time or energy to read my waffle and are simply interested in the logistics of

volunteering, slide right down to the bottom and read the useful information section.*
**These photos are borrowed from the friends I met in Calais. Thank-you in advance.** 

 

 

I'm struggling to find the tone of this article; shying away from self-congratulatory or callous, and after only a week there acutely aware of my naivety. On leaving, nearly everything in my normal life seems pointless and yet I still bumble along as if before. 

 

I've been wanting to help the people stuck at Calais since early last year, but excuses tumbled over each-other and it wasn't until last week that we finally sorted ourselves out enough to spend a little time around "the jungle"*. 

 

*The name made me uncomfortable before we went out, but since meeting a few of the refugees, I begin to think of it as a dark in-joke between those who've been forced to live in a situation that many of us wouldn't wish on our pets. 

read more 13 Comments

Wed

02

Mar

2016

Artist Louis Masai on the environment, music and travel.

 

Trundling along on the megabus, somewhere between Bristol and London, I only started talking to Louis Masai after we broke down. Far from the usual delays, we were entertained by a teenage dance troupe and previously unconnected folk band who just happened to be travelling back from Plymouth together. I felt the hour slip by with little resentment and only once back on the bus realised how close I was coming to missing my connections to Vienna that night. Ice broken by the bizarre situation, I began to learn a little about Louis' work. After nearly a year of following him on social media, I recently decided to ask him for an interview. This is what I learnt...

 

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Mon

22

Feb

2016

Panama- a budget travel guide by Jess Signet.

 

I've never had a guest post on FeatheryTravels before so this is new for me, but when Jess offered to write me a guide to Panama I thought some of you might find it useful. She seems as genuine and down to earth as I try to be here and I think her advice will be invaluable for anyone heading that direction "on a shoestring" in the future...

 

Isla Iguana
Isla Iguana - Shelly McCullough www.sellallyourstuff.com
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Sat

13

Feb

2016

An interview with artist Olivier Leger.

Olivier Marc Thomas Leger, Whale Song, illustration
Whale Song, pen on paper, 57 x 62 cm, 2014

 

After discovering his impossibly detailed pen and ink drawings, doodles I could get lost in for hours, I'm incredibly excited to introduce Olivier. His intricate layers of disproportionately sized wildlife weave together into the masterpieces you can see below. Though this website is never going to do his pictures justice, the playful twist on an environmental theme 

seemed perfect. I'll hope you'll enjoy getting to know the artist a little better as much as I have.

 

read more 7 Comments

Mon

01

Feb

2016

Thirteen great reasons to visit Gozo this Spring- Malta.

The Azure Window and Blue Hole in the foreground. Gozo, Malta
The Azure Window and Blue Hole in the foreground.

 

Something I wrote this time last year...

 

As the second time our family had ever gone abroad together, my Mum chose well with Gozo. Visiting in the Spring, it was warm (but not roasting!), the flowers were blooming and most importantly for the Featherstones, we almost had the beaches to ourselves. 

Gozo is one of the Maltese Islands, little dots in the Mediterranean between Italy and Libya...

 

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Wed

27

Jan

2016

Festival Fact File: Secret Garden Party

Secret Garden Party

 

Approaching the end of July, somewhere in the countryside near Cambridge, England, an otherwise sleepy patch of farm land transforms into the Secret Garden Party. Stages hatch out from the fields, gigantic circus tents are pitched in clusters and psychedelic bunting stretches overhead. People abandon their mundane lives for a few days to loose themselves down the metaphorical rabbit hole.

 

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Sat

16

Jan

2016

Why we shouldn't pretend that everybody can just quit their jobs and travel...

La Esperanza, Ecuador, South America

 

Maybe I'm just feeling bitter because I can't travel right now and maybe this article will be a little controversial, but I feel that among the chorus of bloggers telling people to give up their mundane lives and see the world, we've neglected to acknowledge our own privilege. Although many of us work hard for the freedom to travel, it's impossible to pretend that our opportunities are open to everyone...

 

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Sun

03

Jan

2016

Christmas on Islay.

Singing Sands, Isle of Islay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

 

Dan and I have spent the last two Christmases far away. Firstly in Australia back in 2013 and then somewhere in a Bolivian forest last year. This year we made the journey up to Scotland, narrowly dodged the UK's December storms and squeezed onto one of the few remaining ferries that made the crossing to the island. 

 

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Wed

16

Dec

2015

Merry Christmas!

To all of my wonderful friends and followers,

 

Thank-you so much for your continued support! You are what keep me plugging away at this thing, but I'm going to take a little holiday over Christmas. Don't fret, I'll be back with a vengeance in the new year.

I hope you have a very merry one whether you are with your family or far away!

Lots of love,

 

Katie :)


2 Comments
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