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HomeTravelTravel writer and influencer Jessica Nabongo gives W&M's McSwain Walker Lecture

Travel writer and influencer Jessica Nabongo gives W&M’s McSwain Walker Lecture

Writer and travel expert Jessica Nabongo will deliver the 2023 McSwain-Walker Lecture at the William & Mary on April 11 at 5:30 p.m., the Reves Center for International Studies recently announced.

Her talk “Intentional Travel: How Education, Empathy and Confidence will Help You Create the Life You Want to Live” is free and open to the public. It takes place in Tucker Hall, Room 127A.

Nabongo is a writer, photographer, entrepreneur, travel expert, influencer and speaker.

She completed her journey as the first black woman to travel to all 195 UN-recognized countries in the world in October 2019. At her core, she is a dreamer who wants to create a life and career that combines her passions and talents. She wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them.

Jessica Nabongo (Photo by Justin Millhouse)

Nabongo, a first-generation American, was born and raised in Detroit to Ugandan parents. She attended St. John’s University in New York, where she earned a degree in English Literature and later a graduate degree in Development Studies from 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 lifestyle brand The Catch.

In the National Geographic travelogue, The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World, Nabongo details her journey around the world, highlighting 100 countries with fascinating stories of adventure, culture, essential travel, and human connections.

“My goal is to expand people’s understanding of the world and make it more accessible to everyone,” Nabongo said. “This book is a collection of countries that make my heart smile. I hope my stories will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately think differently about the world we live in.”

Nabongo works to increase cultural awareness and encourages people to think positively about other countries and the world in general so that we don’t miss opportunities to have amazing experiences with our neighbors.

“I hope what other black people see from my story is that you should feel comfortable traveling wherever you want. My journey is about showing everyone, not just black women and men, that your dreams are attainable.”

The annual McSwain-Walker Lecture brings renowned scholars, artists, analysts, and other notable public figures to William & Mary to speak on topics related to how other countries and cultures interact with the United States and how the United States interact with them.

To learn more about Nabongo, visit their website.

Kate Hoving, Reves Center for International Studies

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