Thursday, December 7, 2023

W&M to Host First Black Woman to Travel to all 195 U.N. Recognized Countries

Jessica Nabongo in Kyrgyzstan (All Credit Elton Anderson)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Reves Center for International Studies announced that Jessica Nabongo will deliver its 2023 McSwain-Walker Lecture on April 11.

Nabongo is a writer, photographer, entrepreneur, travel expert, influencer, and public speaker. She completed her journey as the first Black woman on record to travel to all 195 U.N.-recognized countries of the world in October 2019.

According to a press release, she is “a dreamer looking to craft a life and career that connects her passions and talents” who wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them.

A first-generation American, Nabongo 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 in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. Her travelogue, “The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World”, shares her travel adventures. She is also the founder of the lifestyle brand The Catch. 

In her travelogue, Nabongo describes her journey around the world, highlighting 100 countries with fascinating stories of adventure, culture, travel musts, and human connections. 

“My goal is to expand people’s understanding of the globe and make it more accessible to everyone,” explains Nabongo. “This book is a collection of countries that make my heart smile. I hope my stories make you laugh, cry, and ultimately think differently about the world in which we live.” 

“I hope what other Black people see from my story is that you should feel comfortable traveling anywhere you want to go. My journey is about showing everyone, not just Black women and men, that your dreams are achievable,” Nabongo added.

Nabongo’s talk, “Intentional Travel: How Education, Empathy and Confidence will Help You Create the Life You Want to Live,” is free and open to the public. The talk takes place at 5:30 p.m. on April 11 in Tucker Hall, Room 127A.

For more information about the McSwain-Walker lecture or Nabongo, visit the official web pages.

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