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Jessica Nabongo is a global citizen, master storyteller, and travel expert, who is the first black woman to have traveled to every country in the world. Named one of the 50 Most Notable People in Travel, by Travel and Leisure, Jessica uses her platforms to educate and inspire others to experience the world around them and build a global community, with an emphasis on bringing untold stories to the world. Her first book, The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World, published by National Geographic, was an instant bestseller.

A first generation American, Jessica was born and raised in Detroit by Ugandan parents. She attended St. John’s University in New York where she earned a degree in English Literature, later completing a graduate degree at the London School of Economics. She is also the founder of the lifestyle brand The Catch. When she’s not on a plane, she is home tending to her plants in Detroit and LA.



This Post Has 33 Comments
  1. Also your adventures sound very fun. It is really nice that someone like you can go out there into the world and share your experiences with everyone. Looking up pictures and reading about places is one thing, but having someone actually know how it feels to experience the things you did is a whole different part that nothing can take the place of. Thank you too much for sharing your adventures!! ✈️😍😄

  2. Hello! I’m a senior in high school, and my name is Sophia. My parents are from Nicaragua. I was born and raised in the states as well! In my class, we’re writing about diverse adventures and yours intrigued me the most! It truly is inspiring for you to do what you do and gave me hope I’ll be able to travel to at least a slice of the adventures you took haha. Thank you so much for telling your story 🙂

  3. I have never read about someone whose life became more intriguing the more I read about Jessica Nabongo. When reading about your blog and connecting the places you’ve been to, I could tell you’re doing what you love to do. You’ve traveled and seen so much, and done so much to reach the point to realize your destiny; to accomplish your dreams by doing what you love. That may be traveling, blogging, and photography, more than that being loving life and enjoying it to the fullest. Warm hugs from California!

  4. 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.

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

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

  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. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

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