Interview with Mary Gostelow, Internationally Renowned Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Influencer

20th Feb 24
Mary Gostelow Global Enness Lifestyle Ambassador

Mary Gostelow

Mary Gostelow
Global Enness Lifestyle Ambassador

Mary Gostelow

Mary Gostelow is a globalist who was brought up in a boy's boarding school in Abingdon, Berkshire (her father was headmaster there). She was educated in England and New York, worked as a P.A. for high-profile editors of eminent English publications, and then was asked to set up a bilingual glossy based in the Middle East. 

She has written over a dozen books and has an honourable doctorate in English literature. Her often-stated agenda of travelling over 300 days a year might have eased a little, but she does not have time to count – British Airway's Concorde lounge at Heathrow T5 is her second home. 

Mary is also the author of ELF – Enness Lifestyle First, which provides a highly exclusive and complementary overview of international lifestyle, cultural trends and events for Enness' clients and other HNW and UHNW individuals. Conceived by Islay Robinson, one of Enness's co-founders, it's delivered every Sunday and covers everything from travel to fashion, culture, arts, events and shopping from around the world. 

We're proud Elf has reached its 50th Edition.


1. Can you provide a quick overview of what has been guiding your career to date and how you first became involved with ELF, Enness's unique lifestyle offering? 

As the eldest of four sisters, I have always had an insatiable need to power ahead. How I got to know Enness? A mutual friend introduced me to Islay, and over a memorable Italian dinner in Mayfair, the concept was hatched for an edgy briefing that gave the open-eyed and open-minded what they didn't know they needed to know about the world.

2.  When you reflect on your incredible journey to where you are today, what would you say has been the most significant moment or milestone that has shaped you and why?

Falling in love with whoever owned a particular Mediterranean blue Sunbeam Alpine – I married him, we relocated from Wiltshire, and he became the 'Brain of Britain' by the widest margin ever.

3.  As a seasoned traveller, you'll know that every year, it seems the pace of change gets ever faster. Against this backdrop, how do you ensure you stay up to speed but are also open to change? 

Oh gosh, yes. Right now, it's researching Alphas – move over Gen-Z.

4.  Every career journey involves taking risks along the way. But what role do you believe risk-taking plays in achieving success?

A fluctuating 10-90% of success comes from having the gumption to take risks (right now, I'm about to take two major lifestyle risks – if they are successful, I will shout to the world).

5.  I am amazed at how many places you've travelled to. How have these experiences inspired you and shaped your life philosophy?

When you are flying to Kabul in mid-winter and the plane is diverted to Kandahar, and you wake up the next morning in an ice-cold, electricity-free hut, it sure makes girl guides seem like they are eating fruitcake.

6.  Overcoming challenges and displaying resilience are increasingly important in our lives. Can you share any setbacks you've encountered, and how you used that experience to learn and grow?

Intermittently, from age four to my last quarter-century, I had a blockage stutter and a total inability to speak (it still amazes me that I can record podcasts or similar with no trouble). Mind over matter is a marvellous mantra.

7.  As a renowned travel influencer and content creator, how do you keep generating new ideas and find the inspiration you need to keep your work so vibrant and fresh?

There's a deluge of ideas from all over. I only have time to pursue less than 10% of what really fascinates me.

8.  Successful people often face challenges in balancing work and personal life. How do you manage this balance, and what strategies do you use to prevent burnout?

Exercise is the key. Rigorous discipline includes certain routines before breakfast, a daytime walk, routines before dinner and again before bed. These become Mary-meditation times when the brain reboots.

9.  As someone who is constantly travelling, meeting new people and uncovering new experiences, what advice do you have for individuals aspiring to follow in your footsteps/flight trails?

Don't'. Building up necessary worldwide networks is 24/7, day in and day out.

10.  Congratulations on ELF reaching its 50th Edition – that is an amazing achievement!! When you look back across those 50 past editions, what would you say has been your personal favourite moment, meeting or experience you've featured?

Oh, so many, but I am particularly happy that ELF ranges from art to autos and fashion styles to suites to choose from.

11. Finally, do you have any hot picks for dream destinations, in-the-know cultural scenes or forthcoming events you'd like to highlight for the year ahead?

Camping in Mongolia and new-style trains in Italy are on a crammed list.

The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not constitute advice or a recommendation. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Enness and are not intended to indicate any market or industry viewpoints, or those of other industry professionals