Chanute, KS: The excellent adventures of the Johnsons
Your only encounter with Martin and Osa Johnson may be if you shopped American Eagle Outfitters in the past few years. Launched in 2006 (and shut down earlier this year), the Martin + Osa line was a hat-tip to the husband-and-wife explorers who traveled Africa and the South Pacific Islands from 1917-1936.
The Johnsons, though, deserve more attention than a shuttered clothing line. The couple, who filmed and photographed their expeditions, provided extraordinary insight into cultures, landscapes, and wildlife, much of which has vanished. Their work also inspired generations to conserve wildlife in faraway continents.
They do get a proper hometown tribute (Osa's hometown) at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute, Kansas, where you learn about the Johnsons from their collection of movies, books, personal effects, and articles. The museum, which opened in 1961, has grown over the years to include over 10,000 volumes of cultural and natural history, as well as additional ethnographic collections.
We always hope Wish You Were Here might inspire travel and it's hard to find two people who represent that notion more than Martin and Osa Johnson. So even if a safari isn't in your plans anytime soon, a trip to Kansas can open up whole new worlds.