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Jessica Nabongo is a wanderlust, writer, entrepreneur, public speaker and travel expert. At her core, she is a dreamer looking to craft a life and career that interconnects her passions and talents. She also wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them.

A first generation American, Jessica was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan to Ugandan parents. She attended St. John’s University in New York, where she earned her undergraduate degree in English literature. In just a few years after college, she started (and ended) a career in pharmaceutical sales, moved to Japan to teach English, and completed a graduate degree at the London School of Economics. She captured her experiences along the way, honing her photography skills.

As her career path changed, Jessica realized that travel, writing and photography continued to show up as vehicles of self expression and were essential parts of her life, leading to the creation of this site, The Catch Me If You Can. She uses her blog to share her story and build a community. Her work as a travel writer and entrepreneur has led to speaking opportunities around the world.

In October 2019, Jessica became the first documented Black woman to visit every country in the world. Her first book, The Catch Me If You Can, is published by National Geographic. It is available everywhere books are sold.



This Post Has 26 Comments
  1. Hey J, its J from WSC, Capital Hill! I told you I would visit your site, and wow. I AM INSPIRED. I haven’t traveled out of the country yet, but I got my passport last summer so I look forward to traveling like yourself. The thing that holds me back the most is feeling like I can’t afford to travel, and that stops here. I wish you the best, and I’ll say a prayer for your safe travels!! Black Girls Rock, You Go Girl!!!

    Ps. You’re the only person I’ve shared my blog site with, so if you get a chance to read it. Don’t judge me. my writing is a work in progress!

  2. Hey! I was just reading about preparing to go to Africa. I’m looking to plan 2 trips which I’d like insight on, I might be going to Kenya fir 4 days and wanted to know how to get the best visit from those few days. In addition, I’m looking to go to Tanzania for New Years, it would be a week. Your writing has me excited about going to Africa.

    1. Hi Nicole. Thanks so much for reaching out. As far as Kenya, it all depends where you’re flying into. Are you going to Mombasa or Nairobi? Is it your first trip to Africa? Are you going alone? I’ve not yet been to Tanzania so I cannot help there, but I am so glad that my writing is getting you excited about going to Africa!

  3. Loving your work my friend! Always great to see my buddy in the next episode of “Where is the world is Bongo?” Hope to get to go to one of your trips someday. Your pictures, words and journey are awesome .. great spirit!

    Stay blessed

  4. Jessica, why are you so awesome and inspiring?!
    After I have my second baby this year, hopefully I’ll be able to start my adventures exploring Asia. Tokyo 2017 here I come.
    I love watching your story through your beautiful pics!
    -Nicole from Renaissance

  5. Why are you so damn dope?! I just returned from Frankfurt, and now your site has given me the travel bug again. I’ve got two continents left: Asia and Australia. Time to get planning again – thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I have been to San Andres Islands twice now. The first was 2016, second 2018. I love that island very much. I am glad to hear that someone else has discovered the little gem too. La Regatta is the best restaurant on the island. I find this island to be so relaxing. The people are humble, friendly, kind all the above. Great experiences there.

  7. My Beautiful neighbor, Thanks for sharing all of those awesome pictures. I enjoyed every last one of them. You have truly inspired me to continue taking trips out of the country.

  8. Continues to impress…your name is from a tribe, the Wanga, that neighbor’s mine, the Bukusu, in Kenya!

  9. Hello Jessica, and how are you doing? Out of curiosity, how many languages can you speak? How many do you know how to speak?☺

  10. Amazing story, Jessica! I live just north of Detroit and have worked in the city on and off. It was nice to hear you talk about all the great things to see and do there.
    Someday, you probably should round out your list with 2 more countries (yes, they are countries, just ask them!): Scotland and Wales. They are actually considered countries and have their own governments and Parliaments. They are not “independent countries”, but countries nonetheless.

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