Let's meet a travel influencer who is inspiring us through her ambitious quest to be the first black woman to travel to all 195 countries of the world.
Jessica Nabongo is a wanderlust, writer, entrepreneur, podcaster, public speaker and travel influencer.
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.
After college, she went into pharmaceutical sales, moved to Japan to teach English, and completed a graduate degree at the London School of Economics. Along the way, she developed her photography skills and interest in travel and writing. She then started her blog and brand, The Catch Me If You Can, where she shares her story and builds a community.
She began her quest, partly, in 2009, to travel to all 195 UN member countries. Now, she is blazing the trail for black and minority ethnic group travellers who she believes are underrepresented in the travel and tourism industry.
With over 88,000 followers on Instagram, Jessica has developed her community of fans and supporters who love the way she gives a realistic representation of her trips and not just the Instagram aesthetic.
In an interview with Wanderlust, she says, "I once spent three hours on a cattle camp in South Sudan, just to hang out and be present. I'm not too interested in being entertained or made a fuss of. I just want to be there. A favourite recent experience was in Malawi, where I spent a lot of time at the local market, watching the men play bao - I found it fascinating."
Some of her favourite countries include Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, Uganda.
She hopes to finish by October 6, 2019, her late father’s birthday, in the Seychelles with her family and close friends.