Hi there! I’m Kat
Writing an ‘about me’ page is always tough. Where do you even start? I could start with me as a young child, already headstrong (I prefer the term confident) and determined to take on the world in my own little way.
I could start when I left the Navy, and my boyfriend and I couldn’t afford to rent a house, so we lived on a small sailboat (VERY small- I couldn’t even stand up inside it!) This started a love affair with boat life and we continued living on boats for the next 15 years- slowly doing one up and selling it in order to afford a bigger one.
I think this period taught me so much about thinking ‘outside the box’ of a conventional life. Most people thought we were insane, but it didn’t deter us. I quite enjoyed being a ‘bit different’.
During that time, I started training as an air traffic controller for London airspace, which was a job I enjoyed for 13+ years.
Until, one day, the world as I knew it got shaken up. My lovely mother-in-law passing away unexpectedly from a brain tumour and the shock of it made me realise I wanted more out of life. (Why is it always death which causes us to confront the fact that we’re in a rut?!)
I started to feel restless. I wanted to explore the world and travel more. We started touring Europe on motorcycles and then got a motorhome which pulled the bikes on the long boring motorway bits.
See below for more of the story…
Some things about me:
- I joined the Royal Navy at 18
- The Queen said hello to me on a parade
- I spent 3 months becoming fluent in Arabic- for fun
- I was born in Jersey, Channel Islands and lived there for 9 years
- I’ve lived on 3 boats- 2 sailboats and one motorboat, but never a canal barge
- I love motorbikes. I currently have a Kawasaki ZX6 which I love riding and using on track days 🙂
- I recently discovered I have ADHD- which explains a lot!
- I get seasick- yes, despite being ex-Navy and living on boats!
- My favourite music is classic rock but I confess to a fair number of girl anthems & Disney Classics on my playlist
- Norwegian Fjords
- Italian Dolomites
- Black Forest, Germany
- Achill Sound, Ireland
- West coast, Scotland
- Swiss/ Austrian Alps
- Anywhere with mountains- I love mountains. And the sea.
- Mac is a spaniel- either cocker or Brittany
- He was born in 2018- and we picked him up at 9 weeks old in the motorhome. He’s been travelling his whole life
- He could chase a ball on a beach for hours. He’s never had enough! (I also buy him far too many toys)
- He will do almost anything for chicken!
How I quit my job to travel
One night in the Swiss Alps, on our very first motorhoming trip to Europe, I was gazing up in awe at the Milky Way. I’d never seen it so clearly before and it was magical. I didn’t want the trip to end. I wanted to keep exploring and travelling, and not return to work.
Of course, that’s the dream of many people. To quit your job and travel. You see insta-models doing it all the time.
But REAL people don’t actually do that.
Fast forward 7 months and I’d handed in my notice to air traffic control. We set off for Norway and our first epic adventure shortly afterwards. (You can read more about how I quit my job to travel here)
I’ve been lucky enough to be travelling around the UK and Europe pretty much ever since (we don’t talk about 2020!)
How Wandering Bird started
I started sharing some videos on Youtube and posts on Instagram. At the time, there were very few people doing what I was doing. #vanlife hadn’t exploded yet. People started asking questions, which I did my best to answer for them. Those posts grew into this website, which now helps nearly 200,000 people from across the world every month.
The entire purpose of this website, my Youtube channel and my guides and books is to give other people just like you the knowledge and confidence to have their own epic adventures- even if it’s just for a weekend. I love hearing your stories and adventures- so feel free to get in touch on social media or email and let me know. 😊
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequent questions I get asked:
- How tall are you? Pretty tall: I’m 5’11
- Do you live in your motorhome full-time? I did for 4 years- 18 months of that as a solo traveller. I’ve recently rented a house to escape the harsh winter, but I still plan to spend most of the summer touring in the motorhome.
- Sleeping bag or proper bedding? Proper bedding all the way! Not a fan of sleeping bags unless I’m camping short-term
- Why don’t you travel with Mr WB anymore? Sadly, Mr WB and I separated in 2022 (Covid changed a lot for both of us) but we’re still friends and see each other regularly
- Where’s your daughter? She’s at Uni, having taken a gap year (and then another one due to lockdown) She recently joined me in Ireland for a mummy-daughter-dog adventure. I miss her but I’m very proud of the adult she’s growing up to be.
- Does Mac come with you on all your trips? Vanlife wouldn’t be the same without van dog! I love travelling with him. Having said that, he wasn’t able to come to Iceland due to their quarantine laws and he doesn’t come on the long-haul stuff like USA or Antarctica!
- Do you suffer with poor mental health? Yup. I have since I was a teenager, although I didn’t really understand it then. I was over 40 years old before I went to a doctor about it! I’ve recently started sharing more about that side of me, not for sympathy or attention, but to try to help others who feel like they shouldn’t need tablets- they should be strong enough to just ‘power through’ the bad days. Trust me, there’s no shame in getting help. It’s an illness, just like many others.
- Will you ever get a ‘proper job’ again? Possibly. Maybe even probably. I’ve been incredibly grateful for the ability to travel as long as I have and I want to continue doing that for a while, but I’d also like to put down roots and be part of a community somewhere. It would make sense to get a job then- I’ve got a fair way to go until retirement!
- What colour is your hair naturally? Red of course… 😬 To be honest, I have no idea. Brown I think. It was blonde as a child but I’ve been dyeing it since I left the Navy!