Friday, October 18, 2019

African-American woman traveling to 195 countries

For Jessica Nabongo, the journey to conquer the world is not to put on the record books, but to inspire women.

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Jessica Nabongo, 35, was born in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Her parents are Ugandans, so she has two passports. After graduating from college, she found a six-digit salary work at a pharmaceutical company and bought her own apartment in Detroit. This is anyone's "American dream". However, the work did not make her feel satisfied.

She started renting her apartment to make money and then hit the road. She hopes to be a pioneer to inspire women like her to do the same.
Jessica Nabongo
Every time she came to a certain country, she often recorded on the wall in the city where she lived - Detroit. Photo: Instagram / @ thecatchmeifyoucan
First, she went to Japan to teach English, then graduated from the School of Economics in London, England. Next, thanks to work at the United Nations, she was to Benin and then Italy. But that was not enough to satisfy her passion for travel.

On October 6, Jessica posted on her Instagram page and announced that she had completed her journey to the last country on the list, Seychelles. She became the first black woman to every country in the world.
Jessica Nabongo
She shared a commemorative picture upon arriving in the 195th nation of Seychelles. Photo: Instagram / @ thecatchmeifyoucan
To cover her travels, she founded Jet Black, which organizes optional tours for small groups to Africa, and also sells travel accessories such as T-shirts and passport covers. As an influencer, she also works with hotels and brands. Some people offer free rides in exchange for social networking posts. Jessica also receives donations from GoFundMe.

In a 2018 interview with CNN, Jessica said: "Women who explore the world face many difficulties. I have been accused of being a prostitute and assaulted on the street." The most horrific incident she faced was being cheated by a driver she used to believe going to a wild party.

Despite the African blood, Jessica also did not go smoothly when traveling around Africa. Sometimes she felt frustrated when she still had to bribe her to cross the border which should have been opened for her. However, in some countries like Senegal, Ghana, she is treated fairly.

Jessica often travels alone. Therefore, she avoided booking through Airbnb and chose a hotel, where she could contact the 24-hour front desk. She prefers to go with friends so she can share experiences when possible.

On the journey, sometimes Jessica felt like an "ambassador" of America. Because some countries recommend their citizens not to travel to the US due to concerns about gun violence. "When I was abroad, many people asked me if America was safe. It was strange and difficult to navigate," she said.
Jessica Nabongo
Just be yourself, you are already the most obvious statement. Photo: Instagram / @ thecatchmeifyoucan
Jessica said that her trip was not to reach all countries. Its purpose is to change the perception of female tourists, black tourists ... "I was born a black person and I will not let that hinder me to go wherever I want to," she said.

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