On October 6, 2019, Jessica Nabongo completed her goal of visiting all 195 United Nations member countries and observing states, including the Vatican and Palestine, when she arrived in her final country, Seychelles. A travel entrepreneur and photographer, Nabongo, documented her journey via social media, particularly her popular Instagram account TheCatchMeIfYouCan.
Nabongo now markets herself as the first African American woman to visit every country globally, but this is being disputed by Woni Spotts, who indicated she accomplished this on September 28, 2018. Much of Spotts travels happened in the 1970s and 1980s before the era of social media, and so her proof comes in the form of airline records, passport stamps, and US State Department documents.
Irrespective of who was first to visit, both ladies should be proud of their accomplishments as the number of people who have visited all countries is very small.
- Smith, Catharine. 2019. “She Visited Every Country On Earth. She Saw A World Overwhelmed By Plastic Trash.” HuffPost.
- Marcus, Lilit. 2018. “Pioneering Black traveler completes quest to visit every country.” CNN Travel.
- Jessica Nabongo in Guinea-Bissau, Africa. Jessica Nabongo via Instagram.