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The Catch Me If You Can

One Woman's Journey to Every Country in the World

Published by National Geographic
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

In this inspiring travelogue, celebrated traveler and photographer Jessica Nabongo—the first Black woman on record to visit all 195 countries in the world—shares her journey around the globe with fascinating stories of adventure, culture, travel musts, and human connections. 

It was a daunting task. But Jessica Nabongo, the beloved voice behind the popular website The Catch Me if You Can, made it happen, completing her journey to all 195 UN-recognized countries in the world in October 2019. Now, in this one-of-a-kind memoir, she reveals her top 100 destinations from her global adventure. 
Beautifully illustrated with Nabongo's own photography, the book documents her remarkable experiences in each country, including: 

  • A harrowing scooter accident in Nauru, the world’s least visited country,
  • Seeing the life and community swarming around the Hazrat Ali Mazar mosque in Afghanistan, 
  • Horseback riding and learning to lasso with Black cowboys in Oklahoma, 
  • Playing dominoes with men on the streets of Havana, 
  • Learning to make traditional takoyaki (octopus balls) from locals in Japan, 
  • Dog sledding in Norway and swimming with humpback whales in Tonga, 
  • A late night adventure with strangers to cross a border in Guinea Bissau,
  •  And sunbathing on the sandy shores of Los Roques in Venezuela.

Along with beloved destinations like Peru and South Africa, you'll also find tales from far-flung corners and seldom visited destinations, including Tuvalu, North Korea, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Nabongo's stories are love letters to diversity, beauty, and culture—and most of all, to the people she meets along the way. Throughout, she offers bucket-list experiences for other traveler-lovers looking to follow in her footsteps. 

For armchair travelers or readers planning a trip around the globe, this arresting collection will awe and inspire!

JESSICA 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 countries of the world in October of 2019. At her core, she is a dreamer looking to craft a life and career that connects her passions and talents. She wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them. A first generation American, Jessica 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. She uses her blog, The Catch Me If You Can, to share her travel adventures and build a global community. She is also the founder of the lifestyle brand The Catch. When she’s not on a plane, she is home tending to her plants in Detroit, Michigan.

Find her at @jessicanabongo on Twitter and Instagram.  

  • Publisher: National Geographic (August 18, 2022)
  • Length: 416 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781426222269