Jessica Nabongo Becomes The First Black Woman To Visit Every Country

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Jessica Nabongo, a United Nations employee who aimed at "normalizing blackness" becomes the first documented black woman to visit all 195 countries in the world

Written By Bhavya Sukheja | Mumbai | Updated On:
Jessica Nabongo

Jessica Nabongo becomes the first documented black woman to visit all 195 countries in the world. A United Nations employee turned travel blogger, she says she aims for “normalizing blackness and letting people all over the world know that black people travel as well”. According to the reports, there have been around 150 known people who have been to every country out of which the majority of them were white men travelling on Europan passports. Nabongo had a lifelong desire to travel to every country in the world and started keeping a count of countries she visited a while back. By the time she graduated she had already visited eight countries and territories including the US, Canada and England. 

On October 06, while reaching her last destination she posted on Instagram with a caption “Welcome to the Seychelles!! Country 195 of 195! So much to say but for now I will just say thank you to this entire community for all of your support. This was our journey and thanks to all of you who came along for the ride!!” 

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The journey

While working with a pharmaceutical company after her college and buying her own place in the Motor City, Nabongo thought she had achieved it all. However, her work did not satisfy her so she began renting her condo to make money. Her travel began when she started teaching English in Japan and then completed her post-graduation at the London School of economics. Nabongo later worked at the United Nations that took her to Benin and then Italy. By 2016, she had already visited 193 countries and clocked up a couple of what the UN calls non-observer status territories that took her up to a total of 195. 

“This journey that I am on is about breaking stereotypes and experiencing different cultures. When I travel to countries that are “off-the-beaten path”, I rarely see any black people, not American, nor African. Because of this, people are often shocked to see me. I love learning how we as human beings are more alike than we are different. Even with language barriers you can still laugh with a stranger. You can still learn from a stranger and it is a beautiful feeling.” 

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