First Black Woman To Visit Every Country In The World To Release Memoir Inspiring Travel And Intentional Living

Jessica Nabongo’s life is stuffed with bucket list-worthy moments. The author and entrepreneur lives by the rules that the world is one huge neighborhood, individuals are inherently good, and everybody has the ability to create the life they need. So it’s no shock that the 38-year-old grew to become the primary Black lady to journey to all 195 international locations on this planet. After chronicling her adventures in her in style journey and way of life weblog, ‘The Catch Me if You Can,’ Nabongo is getting ready to share these experiences in a brand new means. Her debut memoir of the identical title, The Catch Me If You Can: One Lady’s Journey to Each Nation within the World, is about to be launched June 14.

The travelogue, printed by Nationwide Geographic, highlights 100 of her favourite locations. Whether or not she’s recounting whizzing via the dust roads of Uganda on the again of a boda boda or canine sledding in Norway, her experiences provide an alternate perspective of worldwide journey and journey, as a result of they’re coming from the lens of a Black lady.

“It was my private journey to go to each nation on this planet. However near the end line, it grew to become a lot larger than me,” Nabongo tells ESSENCE.


She says that historically, the worldwide journey trade has been dominated by white males. One among her objectives is to vary that to encourage different Black girls to push previous any concern they could have of solo journey, and to additionally make it extra frequent to come across girls who appear like her seeing the world.

“I’m a Black lady, however past that, my travels have been formed by the truth that I’m visibly African,” the Ugandan-American globetrotter says. “To that finish, I’ve had some points with immigration with individuals pondering that my passport is pretend.”

However in keeping with her, the great experiences far outweigh any dangerous.

“Total, I’ve had 99.9 % superb experiences,” she says. “I don’t really feel like my race hinders me in my journey. I transfer with optimistic vitality, and I actually consider that the world is my oyster.”

Nabongo’s infectious optimism is mirrored in every web page of the memoir, permitting readers to achieve perception into her journey via every colourful tour.

“I would like individuals to learn this e-book and ask themselves if they’re actually dwelling the life they wish to stay,” she says.

It’s the query she’s contemplated previously, spurring a few of her most audacious choices — leaving a high-profile company job, shifting internationally many occasions over, and in the end making it her mission to go to each nation.

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Nabongo, at one time, climbed the company ladder, working for a pharmaceutical firm. It was work that offered a six-figure wage and perks, however was additionally accompanied by despair.

“If anyone checked out my life, they might have mentioned that I used to be profitable, however I used to be so sad,” she recollects.

In 2008 she stop her job, shaved her head, and moved to Japan, the place she credit for altering the trajectory of her life.

After a year-long stint working as a instructor in a small suburb outdoors of Kyoto, Japan, she determined she now not wished to return to the USA to work a 9-to-5. As an alternative, she aspired to proceed exploring the world.

“I traveled till I ran out of cash,” she says with a chuckle. 

Inspired by associates to start out a GoFundMe, she raised $20,000 {dollars} from her neighborhood, permitting her to proceed her travels. She additionally discovered distant employment that offered her the chance to work from any location.

“One of many misconceptions individuals have is that touring was my full-time job, however it wasn’t” she says. “It was vital to me, so I made it work whereas additionally working a job that offered me with a wage.”

In 2015, she turned to entrepreneurship, founding Jet Black, a luxurious journey firm.

Nabongo’s story is undoubtedly outstanding and stuffed with firsts which might be shared in The Catch Me If You Can; however to her, the memoir is greater than a journey information to tout her worldly adventures. Though full of page-turning tales of overseas excursions, swoon-worthy images, and sensible suggestions for each kind of vacationer, she hopes readers achieve extra than simply wanderlust after studying her debut work.

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“It’s actually a ravishing story of humanity,” she says. “The e-book isn’t about convincing individuals to journey to each nation on this planet. It’s to point out folks that their desires are legitimate and achievable.”

It’s been greater than two years since Nabongo checked off the 195th nation on her record: The Seychelles, which she did surrounded by family and friends. Though she’s achieved considered one of her greatest feats, she says extra remains to be to come back, as a result of her life is all about “dreaming, creating, and attaining the not possible.”

The Catch Me if You Can: One Lady’s Journey to Each Nation within the World is obtainable June 14 in any respect main retailers.

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