Jessica Nabongo is now the first Black woman to have documented visiting every country in the world, according to USA Today.
The travel enthusiast aims to help other women who look like her accomplish the same feat through a guide featured in her memoir, “The Catch Me if You Can.” Throughout the book, which holds the same name as her travel blog where she initially shared her adventures, Nabongo shares some of her tips and tricks for women who want to fulfill their love for wandering the globe.
Nabongo knew from an early age that she wanted to travel every country in the world, now she is celebrating that feat by helping to spark the curiosity of other women.
“From my early 20s, I wanted to visit every country in the world, but I wasn’t really like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do this.’ Every year, I was keeping track of how many new countries I was going to, and I had maps – you can still find them on my blog,” she told the outlet. “But in 2017, when I was in Bali, I decided I wanted to try to be the first Black woman to visit every country in the world, and I gave myself a clear deadline of my 35th birthday (May 2019). I overshot it by 5 months, but I was still 35 when I finished.”
She further explained how leaning on others when visiting places she wasn’t familiar with was a big key to her success as history making traveler.
“As my following grew, I would ask, “Who should I meet up with?” Also, I went to grad school at the London School of Economics and I used to work for the U.N., so I had an incredible network. The biggest thing for me was I wanted to try and be with local people. But I didn’t prep much,” she continued. “I just bought plane tickets, booked a hotel and usually booked a driver because when you land somewhere – especially if it’s long transit – I just want to know that I have a ride from the airport to my hotel, versus trying to figure out taxis, foreign languages. And then I can figure out, “What am I gonna do in this country?”
Now that she’s accomplished visiting every country in the world, Nabongo’s next adventure includes seeing what every state has to offer.
“I definitely want to finish visiting all of the states. I have six left. And then, I don’t really have any plans other than that,” she expressed. “There are so many places that I want to go back to. But no more crazy travel goals. I’m just enjoying the ride.”