Meet The Detroit Native Who's Been To Every Country In The World

Abeni Jones
November 15, 2019

Despite being a world traveler, Jessica Nabongo is inspired by other young Black Americans doing creative things: “Lena Waithe… she is unapologetic... Issa Rae, Donald Glover… we’re just living in such a beautiful time where people are just out here, shining.”

Fears of racism abroad are largely unfounded: “The U.S. has perfected racism in a way that I’ve not seen in other countries… travel WHEREVER you want to, no matter who you are and what you look like. I did it!” 

Spending time in Africa has always been important (her parents are from Uganda), especially to challenge ignorance: “[W]e think about Africa as a monolith… when I came back from Uganda [people] asked if we lived with lions and tigers!”

Despite her Instagram fame, she didn’t want to be just another superficial influencer: “I want to normalize humanity... I’m trying to show that humans are just humans no matter what language they’re speaking, no matter what countries they live in.”

Affording travel is difficult, but doable: “The only way you can travel more is if you put travel on the top of your priority list.” 

She cooks at home and goes out less, uses credit cards wisely to earn travel points, and keeps her plans flexible so she can take advantage of flight deals. You can, too!

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