Travel Editor Colleen McShane recounts experiences from Jessica Nabongo’s sensational memoir The Catch Me If You Can.
As the first Black travel writer to visit all 197 countries of the world, documenting 100 of them in her memoir The Catch Me If You Can, Jessica Nabongo visually and literally represents a wide variety of cultures, social conventions, and historical backgrounds in the destinations she visits. Nabongo’s book is jam-packed with vivid images of her destinations around the world which both enthrall and influence her reader with her hyper-romanticized and idealistic version of world travel, one of the many talents that coincides with being both a travel writer and prolific social media influencer.
Jessica Nabongo’s travel experiences are written about various unique times in the author's life, and consequently, each location encapsulates a fragment of Nabongo’s identity. For example, although not included in her memoir, Nabongo discusses on her blog The Catch Me If You Can, that after quitting her job at the United Nations of Rome in 2012, her first travel destination was Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina where she ‘purchased a flight and the rest is history’ (Nabongo). From biking through Mendoza’s wine country to experiencing the Iguazu Falls on the Argentine-Brazilian border, Nabongo consistently manages to find a nuanced comfortability while repeatedly immersing herself in local culture and history.
During her six week stay in the region with her friend, Nabongo began her travel journey through other cities in South America such as Brazil and Uruguay, those of which she documents early in her memoir. This makes Buenos Aires both an impactful and secret city to not only the traveler and Nabongo’s memoir, but also to her wide readership.