Freedom to Travel: Meet the First Black Woman to Travel to Every Country in the World

Coinciding with Vol. 31: The Freedom Issue, we catch up with trailblazer Jessica Nabongo, the first Black woman to visit every country in the world. She shares with us her high and lows, her thoughts on diversity in the travel industry and introduces her new business venture.

This week we chat to trailblazer Jessica Nabongo, an influencer with actual influence. Her following - 197,000 and counting - watched her, as we did, become the first Black woman to travel to all 195 countries in the world. She slept in a yurt in Mongolia, toured pyramids in Sudan and broke bread in Pakistan before finishing her two-and-a-half-year race around the world on the shores of the Seychelles. We couldn't think of a better guest to have on Episode 6 of The Upgrade podcast, which coincides with the launch of our Volume 31: The Freedom Issue.

It comes at a time when the idea of "freedom" sits awkwardly with our social, political, economic and mental realities. Nevertheless, we believe that the culture of travel, of building connections across the world and immersing yourself in other countries and communities can be incredibly freeing.

We catch up with influencer, travel expert and businesswoman Jessica Nabongo about her thoughts on diversity in the travel industry, the highs and lows of her journeys and how we can support African artisans through her new business venture, The Catch.

We'd love to know where you're going next and how you think the travel landscape might change as lockdown restrictions ease. Send your voice notes to [email protected] or drop us a DM on Instagram @indiadowley and @fleur_rm.

Catch up with our latest episode below.

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