Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Catch Me if You Can by Jessica Nabongo
Published by National Geographic on June 14, 2022
Genres: Non Fiction
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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.
Many of us talk about traveling the world, but an intrepid woman ditched corporate life to fill her passport to global adventure. I was keen to read about Jessica Nabango’s memoir on the best 100 destinations in her 195 country record-breaking journey.
The Catch Me If You Can introduced Jessica Nabango from her childhood living in Detroit as a first generation Ugandan American and visits to her mother and father’s homeland, her early thirst for travel and the roundabout path she took to get there through corporate America. Starting her own travel agency, Jet Black, and lifestyle brand, The Catch, adding professional travel photographer, and online influencer with her The Catch Me If You Can website, Jessica proceeded to become the first black woman to visit all 195 UN recognized countries.
Her book is loaded with her own photography (my eARC copy only captured a portion of these) and a plethora of lush destinations. Her vignettes about places, experiences, and people are tinted with emotion and reflection. I felt I was there with her visiting a mountain top Buddhist temple in Laos, attending a family wedding in Uganda, celebrating Persian New Year in Iran, and so much more.
“While I have a lot of rules of thumb for traveling, there is one that I live by as much as possible: I do not travel to new countries with a fear of the unknown… I choose instead to live by what is true, to be in the moment.” Pp. 332
In the end, she sums up her thoughts and leaves a bucket list to her readers. I felt my mind broadened and enriched simply from reading her book so I can’t imagine how much better following in her actual footsteps would be. Don’t hesitate to pick this up if you love travelogues, memoirs, or simply want to learn to appreciate the wonderful world we live in.
- Stealth Mission by Kendall Talbot @kendallbooks #KindleUnlimited @sophiarose1816 - March 29, 2023
- Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murders by Jesse Q. Sutanto @thewritinghippo @Berkley @sophiarose1816 - March 22, 2023
- Colony On Fire by Veronica Scott @vscotttheauthor @sophiarose1816 - March 19, 2023
I’d love to travel like this.
It sounded like an incredible experience. Even one of her adventures would be fabulous. 🙂
I’m always so impressed by people like this who do such amazing things. 195 countries. Wow! I think I’ve been to like 10.
Same here! She had an amazing, uplifting experience that I can barely fathom since I’ve barely traveled outside the US and only in Canada and Mexico.
What an accomplishment! Visiting all the countries… imagine the experiences she must have had.
It was really neat that she shared at least one experience for the 100 countries she picked for the book. But, I agree, she must have countless stories to tell now.
Wow, I couldn’t imagine being that well traveled. This sounds like it would be a very interesting read.
I was in awe. She is amazing. 🙂
What an amazing journey! I can imagine that some countries are extremely difficult to travel to or get in. But, wow, she’s got some memories to last her entire life.
She was able to avoid some trouble because she has a dual passport allowing her to enter some country’s as Ugandan instead of American. But, other issues were faced and made for interesting adventures.
Sophia, thank you for introducing me to Jessica Nabango! What an amazing journey. I’ve just googled her and am following her IG. I hope National Geo does a program about her! So cool.
You betcha! Her photography alone is a feast for the senses so I’m glad she shares so much of her experience in her social avenues. I hope now that she has a book that NatGeo picks her up, too.
Wow, very enlightening Sophia. Now I want to learn more 🙂
She is really cool. I want to read her blog posts at some point and follow her IG.
195 countries???!!!! Wow
Shazam! Pretty incredible.
I don’t think I’ve read a memoir before, but maybe I should pick one up one day. That sounds impressive she traveled to 195 different countries. This sounds like a great way to travel to some new countries through reading and that sounds great how there are plenty of pictures too.
I don’t read too many memoirs, but most of the time, the author is related to an area of interest. She really made her world travel adventures come alive.