Jessica Nabongo was not, as many might assume, born craving some solo travel. In fact, her first-ever solo travel trip was the same one that turned into a trip around the entire planet. Crazy how one experience can change our entire lives, right?
Almost 3 years ago today, Jessica just really needed to get out of town. The need was so strong that she booked a one-way ticket to Costa Rica, despite never having traveled alone, and left only three days later. But instead of booking a return ticket, she decided to just keep traveling – and didn’t stop until she’d officially visited every country in the world. By the end, she’d traveled 89 of the 195 total countries alone – and learned a lot along the way.
The Trials Of Self-Love
Jessica is tired of hearing everyone say “just love yourself,” like it’s the easiest thing in the world. “Self-love is a journey,” she says – no one is born knowing how. It should start in one place, then keep moving – and the love grows with every step.
Safety While Traveling
The question of traveling women’s safety is a nuisance to Jessica, who would like everyone to remember that crimes against women happen literally everywhere in the world. That’s why she says, “Focusing on women’s safety as it relates to travel really gets on my nerves…I think we should be paying attention to women who are doing incredible things in their community [instead].”
You Simply Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
On top of the many places she had never seen pictures or even heard of before setting off, one thing she learned along the way is that it’s not just wrong to judge a book by its cover – it’s actually impossible. Everything is different with context. “We have to stop patronizing people because they grew up in a way that is different from how we grew up,” she explains.
Congratulations to Jessica for being the first African-American woman to travel to every country!