Shot by Elton Anderson in Bali in February 2017

“I’m just a girl who is taking the time to live.”

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan to Ugandan immigrants, Jessica, better known as j. nambowa lives a duality that could be described as Afropolitan. Seeds of travel and wander were planted at an early age when she embarked on her first international journey, traveling to London and Uganda at the age of six. Largely encouraged by family summer holidays in the Caribbean and trips home to Uganda, Jessica’s curiosity for different cultures and deep desire to see every country in the world has intensified in the last six years.

In 2002, Jessica left Detroit to attend school in New York City at St. John’s University, studying English Literature. A successful yet unsatisfying career in pharmaceutical sales left her searching for something new. Jessica’s sense of adventure led her to move to Japan in 2008, giving life to Catch Me If You Can .

Jessica has lived, worked and studied on four continents – North America (Detroit, New York City, and Washington DC, USA), Asia (Kusatsu, Japan), Europe (London, England and Rome, Italy), Africa (Dassa-Zoume, Benin) – earned a graduate degree from the London School of Economics, and visited over 80 countries and territories on six continents. Catch Me If You Can chronicles her travels, the people she meets along the way, and features many of the poignant images she has captured, with hopes of encouraging readers to get out and see life through a different cultural lens.

Jessica is also the founder of Jet Black, a boutique travel firm that works with individuals, governments and brands to promote tourism to countries in Africa, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Jet Black offers private trip planning as well as hosted group trips.


Partnerships/Press: jnambowa@thecatchmeifyoucan.com
General: info@thecatchmeifyoucan.com
Travel Services: jaunts@globaljetblack.com

Around the Web

How to Fit Two Weeks’ Worth of Clothes in a Carry-On and Other Travel Tips – Bloomberg: July 2017

Travel Diary: For J. Nambowa Traveling Africa is Pure Joy – OkayAfrica: June 2017

Jessica Nabongo, Founder of Jet Black, Took the Road Less Traveled to Travel the World – The Life Currency: May 2017

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: Africa Edition – Conde Nast Traveler: April 2017

Jet Black with Jessica Nabongo – Necessary Baggage Podcast: April 2017

My Life is Not a Vacation, It Just Looks Like It – Ebony Magazine: April 2017

What happened to everyone who was going to leave the US if Trump won? – PRI: January 2017

Traveling While Not White in America is Exhausting – The Grio: December 2016

Detroit-bred travel blogger launches new talk series – B.L.A.C. Detroit: December 2016

Exploring Africa Through Travel – Not Your African Cliche Podcast: December 2016

Escaping Trump’s America: Practical tips for moving abroad – The Grio: November 2016

Blogger of the Month Feature – Griots Republic: October 2016

It contains a mixture of anger, sadness, frustration, pride and hope “- the US got the black history of the National Museum, a handsome crown – Helsingin Sanomat: September 2016

Uruguay: An Escape to a South American Jewel – Upward Magazine: August 2016

Why I Cut My Hair To Travel: @Jnambowa – The Cut Life: August 2016

The 15 Best Black Travel Photos You Missed This Week – Essence: June 2016

The 15 Best Black Travel Photos You Missed This Week – Essence: May 2016

The 15 Best Black Travel Photos You Missed This Week – Essence: May 2016

The 15 Best Black Travel Photos You Missed This Week – Essence: April 2016

10 Photos That Prove There’s No Such Thing as a Man’s Job – USAID: March 2016

The 15 Best Black Travel Photos You Missed This Week – Essence: March 2016

The 15 Best Black Travel Photos You Missed This Week – Essence: March 2016

How to spend your tax refund on travel – no matter how much you get back – Blavity: April 2016

The Any Budget Bevel Guide to Valentine’s Day – Bevel Code: February 2016

Four African Trips to Take in 2016 – We Are Africa: January 2016

In the Studio: Jessica Nambowa – Milhouse: November 2015

Jessica || 56 Countries – Geektreks: October 2015

5 Things You Must Do In Rome – Travel Noire: September 2015

The Party’s Over … Over My Budget, That Is – NY Times: June 2015

Confessions of a Jetsetter w/ j. nambowa AKA “Catch Me If You Can” – Jetsetter Problems: May 2015

7 Tips for Planning Your First Trip to Africa – Travel Noire: January 2015

Mission Expat: How to Launch Your Global Career (Video) – Travel Noire: October 2014

Guide to a Successful Group Trip – Travel Noire: September 2014

Love Life of a Nomad – Travel Noire: February 2014

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving Abroad – Travel Noire: January 2014

Top 4 Things to Do in Detroit – Travel Noire: December 2013

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Justice Stafford

    Hey J, its J from WSC, Capital Hill! I told you I would visit your site, and wow. I AM INSPIRED. I haven’t traveled out of the country yet, but I got my passport last summer so I look forward to traveling like yourself. The thing that holds me back the most is feeling like I can’t afford to travel, and that stops here. I wish you the best, and I’ll say a prayer for your safe travels!! Black Girls Rock, You Go Girl!!!

    Ps. You’re the only person I’ve shared my blog site with, so if you get a chance to read it. Don’t judge me. my writing is a work in progress!

  2. Nicole Annmarie

    Hey! I was just reading about preparing to go to Africa. I’m looking to plan 2 trips which I’d like insight on, I might be going to Kenya fir 4 days and wanted to know how to get the best visit from those few days. In addition, I’m looking to go to Tanzania for New Years, it would be a week. Your writing has me excited about going to Africa.

    1. thecatchmeifyoucan

      Hi Nicole. Thanks so much for reaching out. As far as Kenya, it all depends where you’re flying into. Are you going to Mombasa or Nairobi? Is it your first trip to Africa? Are you going alone? I’ve not yet been to Tanzania so I cannot help there, but I am so glad that my writing is getting you excited about going to Africa!

  3. Ron Reeves

    Loving your work my friend! Always great to see my buddy in the next episode of “Where is the world is Bongo?” Hope to get to go to one of your trips someday. Your pictures, words and journey are awesome .. great spirit!

    Stay blessed

  4. freebirdNic

    Jessica, why are you so awesome and inspiring?!
    After I have my second baby this year, hopefully I’ll be able to start my adventures exploring Asia. Tokyo 2017 here I come.
    I love watching your story through your beautiful pics!
    -Nicole from Renaissance

  5. Camille Trummer

    Why are you so damn dope?! I just returned from Frankfurt, and now your site has given me the travel bug again. I’ve got two continents left: Asia and Australia. Time to get planning again – thanks for the inspiration!


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