Ever wondered what it’s like to travel round the world? Ever wondered what it’s like escaping solo to some really cool destination and starting all over again on a clean slate? New friends, new adventure, new you. Super exciting huh? Well, wonder no more, you’re in luck! Ugandan-American travel blogger and brand influencer, Jessica Nabongo @thecatchmeifyoucan Founder@globaljetblack and @thisisthecatch
is the first documented black woman to have travelled to every country in the world -Solo! And you get a glimpse.
The thirty six year old travel pro born in Detroit, Michigan to Ugandan parents
started travelling at the age of six, after completing college and in a bid to get away and find self she embarked on her first solo trip to Costa Rica in 2009, by 2016, she had already visited 60 countries.
A year later she officially decided to embark on a quest to visit all 193 countries in the world. By October 6, 2019 she fulfilled her mission arriving in her final country, the Seychelles, same year Jessica recorded having travelled solo to 89 countries.
On travelling the world solo and embracing self love: Once you really get to a place of being able to 100 percent express yourself, you move through the world differently because you’re not going to be self conscious anymore. There’s a light that comes with it. When you fall in love with yourself, you walk into a space fully confident, fully awake, fully present, and I think that’s what will attract people to you because people can see it, she tells cntraveller
Biggest takeaway from the entire experience?
That most people are good. Truly. Every day, we see all these terrible things that people are doing to each other, and hear that a lot of people are more fearful of the stranger and people who don’t look like them. But honestly, this journey has shown me that, in reality, most people are not racists, homophobes, or misogynists. They’re just not. I went to Chad earlier this year, and I stayed in the home of a complete stranger. When I was in Venezuela, my tour guides invited me into their home. People want to welcome you.
The one country she wishes to go back to?
Jordan. The first time I went, I immediately fell in love with Jordanians. They’re just so fun and kind. And then the country itself is so diverse: You have Jerash for Roman ruins; Amman for great restaurants and bars, and amazing hotels; Petra, which is obviously one of the seven wonders; Wadi Rum for otherworldly desert; and then you have the Dead Sea. Jordan is everything any traveler could want.
Jessica Nabongo attended St. John’s University in New York City where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and then the London School of Economics where she acquired a master’s degree in international development.
Upon completing college, she worked at a pharmaceutical company for two years, taught English in Japan and worked as a consultant for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation before finally becoming a travel blogger.
She is also a brand influencer, working with hotels and hospitality brands.