There are lots of ways to serve and make a difference in the world, and there are multiple ways for us to show up. The most important thing is that we live a life of intention and that we learn to do exactly what we want to do. And to continue the series about women doing things that light them up, I’m introducing you to Jessica Nabongo.
Jessica Nabongo is an author, influencer, and serial entrepreneur. She is a woman who decided to be free and has created a life on her terms, and in doing so has achieved her goal of being the first Black woman to have visited every single country in the world. She is a perfect example of what it means to expand your notion of what service looks like, and I’m sharing more about her inspiring life this week.
What would it look like if you decided to live your life as a free person? What would it look like to make decisions and take action in conformity with the way a free person acts? In this episode, I’m showing you how this is possible through somebody who is doing exactly that. Learn the importance of living an intentional life and how to show up and make a difference in the world simply by being yourself.
It’s week two of International Women’s History Month. What I know about my audience is we are people who want to make a difference in the world. Who aspire to leave the world a better place. In order to do that, we don’t have to be Yuri Kochiyama or Fannie Lou Hamer. Or Alicia Garza, Grace Lee Boggs, Dolores Huerta, or Angela Davis. There’s lots of ways to serve. There’s lots of ways to make a difference. And there are multiple ways for us to show up. The most important thing is that we live a life of intention. That we learn to do what we want to do. The most important thing you can do with your life is do what you want to do.
Now, I know as you hear me say those words, there’s some of you who are listening to that and say, “I can’t do what I want to do.” But I’m going to ask you to refer back to episode number two where I talk to you about the word can’t. Whenever you hear yourself saying can’t, especially in relationship to that which you want to do, I want you to replace the word can’t with won’t. I won’t do what I want to do. And see how that lands with you.
So we’re gonna talk about another woman who’s making a difference in the world doing exactly what she wants to do. Her name is Jessica Nabongo. Let’s get going.
Welcome to the Unlock Your Life podcast, a podcast for highly successful visionary women who want more out of life. If you feel that ache of unfulfillment in your soul, you’re in the right place sis. Join life mastery consultant Lori A. Harris as she teaches you how to stop living for others and finally put yourself first. Let’s dive into today’s show.
I first met Jessica back in March of 2018. It was just before she announced her intention to become the first documented Black woman to have visited every country in the entire world. All 195 countries. She was well on her way. Her goal was to have that done by October 2019, and she did just that. I’m going to tell you about Jessica Nabongo, also known on Instagram as the Catch Me If You Can.
Jessica is a prime example of what it means to expand your notion of what service looks like, what helping looks like. Jessica lives a life that affords her the ability to travel from place to place, to make friends all over the world, and to be an ambassador everywhere she goes. She lets the world know that it’s important and quite possible to live a life of intention, to live the life of your dreams.
Jessica, when she was on her quest to visit every country in the world, she shared her vision with us. She went from place to place, and she did it with style and within a certain standard. Jessica was not backpacking or couch surfing. She had a standard for how she wanted to be treated, a standard for how she wanted to see the world, a standard for how she wanted to represent herself.
As she was moving from place to place, being our ambassador, representing herself and the people that she comes from, she did it with style. She had meaningful connections and meaningful experiences in each country. She did not just plop down, go to the airport, get her stamp in her passport, and get back on the plane.
No. She stayed in each country. She had interactions with the local people. She learned important things about their cultures, and she reminded all of us the very best reason to do anything is because you want to. In so doing, you become a magnet for uplifting people. A magnet for drawing people to joy and creativity and connection.
Jessica, by living her life with intention, showed us what it means to say this is what I want, and I’m going to go get it. She showed us how we are far more similar and have more things in common than we are different. She showed us that the world is a safe place, and all of us are sharing this planet together. She shared with us her concern about single use plastic, and it’s doing damage all over the world. She became an activist of sorts, advocating for Mother Earth on behalf of all of us.
Jessica is an author. Her forthcoming book, published by National Geographic Books is The Catch Me If You Can, and it will be out in just a few short weeks. You can pre-order it on Amazon.com. I will leave a link for it in the show notes.
As I said, not only is Jessica an author and an influencer, she’s also a serial entrepreneur. Jessica graduated from St. John University, and she pursued graduate studies at the London School of Economics. She’s lived all over the world for extended periods of time, including Japan and Italy. She’s done some work with the United Nations and a number of other things.
But most importantly, she is a person who has created her own life. She runs a company called The Catch that sells and distributes fine artistry goods from all over the African continent. Goods that are curated by Jessica herself and hand selected. She also has a luxury travel company. She’s retired a former brand known as Global Jet Black, and that’s where I met Jessica. I went on the last tour that was sponsored by her company Global Jet Black in March of 2018. It was called a jaunt, and we went to Senegal.
We played a very interesting game one day while we were being transported out to a distant region from the city of Dakar. While we were in the car, we played a game called would you rather? It had a profound impact on me listening to Jessica and her response to this question.
The question was would you rather work in a job that you absolutely hate for 10 years, and then at the end of those 10 years, have all of your needs met for the rest of your life? Or would you rather work for the rest of your life doing work that you absolutely love? Jessica answered the question quite quickly and quite promptly. She said, “I don’t want to work.”
Rather than accepting Jessica’s answer, I was like, “No, no, no, you don’t understand. You could have work that you absolutely love, or you could work for 10 years and then not have to work anymore. Those are the choices.” Jessica stood firm and she said, “I don’t want to work.” I pondered that for quite some time.
Then I came to realize that Jessica is a woman who has first and foremost decided to be free, decided what she wanted her life to look like, and then went about the business of going towards those things that light her up, going toward those things that give her joy, that going towards the things that do more than just meet her basic needs. She has set a standard for herself for a life that she absolutely loves living, and she operates at a vibrational tone that makes it easy for those things to come to her.
It doesn’t mean that Jessica is not putting effort into living her life. It doesn’t mean that Jessica is not putting effort toward having the things that she would love to have. But she is indicating that there’s a mindset that she would love to come from that she is not living her life as a laborer.
So, what would it look like if you, like Jessica, decided to live your life as a free person? What would it look like if you made decisions and took actions in conformity with the way a free person acts? That’s what Jessica is doing. That’s what Jessica is doing in living her life. She is making welcome all the things that light her up, and she’s doing it with the style and grace that is pleasing to Jessica. There are a number of ways that we can serve in this world, but the best way we can serve is to fully express and share with the world our true personhood. Be ourselves as only we can do.
Jessica Nabongo is doing just that. I encourage you to check out the show notes. There’ll be a video there where you can see Jessica talking a little bit about her philosophy regarding travel. Check out her book, The Catch Me If You Can, and pre-order it from Amazon. Finally, check out Jessica’s luxury travel line that she’s starting really soon. You can get on the list anytime. I’ll have a link for you in the show notes.
When we live our lives from the point of view of this is my life, and I’m so excited and happy and grateful to discover what is there for me. We give other people permission and provide an example for other people to do the same. Jessica Nabongo has found a way to fully live her life of service in a way that lights her up. She’s an advocate for the planet. She’s moving toward helping us to be a single use plastic world free, no longer relying on goods that do our planet harm.
She’s showing us how we can live in unity by being an example of a good human and showing us how much we have in common rather than celebrating our differences. Jessica Nabongo is a world traveler and a world ambassador that brings the world closer and makes us neighbors every day.
Did you miss the Get Unstuck masterclass? Well, you can still catch the replay. Go to my website, put in loriaharris.com/getunstuck, and I will share with you the replay so that you can find tips and tools you need to live a full, fully expressed life that you absolutely love living. Live a life that gives you life. I would love to share the tips and tools that I’ve learned over the years with you.
Well, that’s it. It’s episode 36 of the Unlock Your Life podcast. Thank you so much for listening. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend. Go to Apple podcasts. Decide, follow, rate, and review the show. I’d love a five star review. Let me know what you think in the review comments. Thank you so much for listening. It’s your life. Make it a great one.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast. If you want more information on how you can transform your life and do it quickly, visit loriaharris.com. See it on the next episode of the Unlock Your Life podcast.