According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of flâneuse is “a woman who is or who behaves like a flâneur.” Well, what is a flâneur you may now ask? Good question! “Flâneur, from the French noun flâneur, means ‘stroller,’ ‘lounger,’ ‘saunterer,’ or ‘loafer.’ Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations.” For centuries, the term was reserved for men, but we are here to take it back (this book was the inspo!). In this series, we talk to female travelers who are exploring and strolling the world in their own way, on their own terms.
Our first Flâneuse is Mari Johnson, a content creator and travel Youtuber. Mari and I met a couple of years ago at TravelCon and instantly hit it off! I LOVE keeping up with her travels (both on her Instagram and Youtube), and I am so excited to introduce you to her because I know she is going to inspire you to get out there and truly experience the natural world. Welcome to the site Mari!
+ Hello! Introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Mari! I’m originally from California, though currently living in New Zealand. I’m passionate about being outdoors, looking after the environment, exploring the world, and helping people with their travel journeys. I create videos to share my experiences, to encourage others to get out there themselves, and to answer any questions people may have.
+When did you first start traveling?
Though I had a major case of wanderlust ever since I was young, I didn’t really start traveling on my own until I was in my late 20s. I always yearned to travel, but I was too afraid to go solo. Now, I’m a huge proponent of solo female travel, and it’s one of my favorite ways to explore a new place.
+ How would you describe your travel style?
My travel style is a bit mixed, depending on the place. Usually, I do a fair amount of research before I go and then play it by ear once I’m there. I’m all about seeing a city on foot, checking out free events, meeting people, learning the history of a place, and trying essential local foods.
+ Why is travel so important to you?
It’s hard to articulate, but I feel like travel has made me a better person. What I’ve learned about myself and the world while traveling has made me who I am today. Travel allows people to experience unfamiliar places, to step outside their comfort zones, to learn new things, and to realize we’re all more alike than we may think.
+ Most memorable travel experience?
I recently completed the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,653-mile walk across the United States, and it was like experiencing a nomadic life on a whole new level. Traveling through the country on foot and seeing all of the landscapes and small towns that I would otherwise miss was unlike anything else.
+ Best parts of being a female traveler?
Meeting all of the other amazing female travelers out there!
+ What steps do you take/plan to take to be a more “conscious” wanderer?
This is extremely important to me, as travel can be quite destructive to the environment. I try to create less waste by carrying reusable water bottles and utensils, and I never litter (and pick up others’ trash when possible). Also, I buy carbon offsets for flights when possible, and I respect the cultures of places I visit by following their customs.
+ Three top tips for other ladies who want to start traveling?
1. Don’t wait around for the perfect time, because that time may never come. Just book something and make it happen!
2. Don’t wait around for someone to want to go with you. Go solo!
3. Join online travel groups or meet up with like-minded people in your hometown to be a part of the travel community even when you’re not traveling.
+ What is one thing you never travel without?
A power bank for my phone. It’s so much nicer not having to worry about where to charge my phone all the time.
+ What upcoming adventures do you have for 2020?
I recently moved to a new city [Wellington, New Zealand], so right now, I’m mostly interested in exploring the area, immersing myself in the culture, and doing short trips nearby. Never underestimate the power of a “staycation!”
Thank you, Mari!
+ If you need some destination inspo, six female travelers shared their must-visit destination for 2020.
+ To reduce your impact while traveling, use these sustainable carry-on items.
+ Conscious Travel 101: the first steps to take to reduce your negative impact while on the road.