Jessica Nabongo, an Instagram influencer known as the first Black woman to have visited every country, finds serenity in a colorful, artfully decorated Detroit condo she bought and renovated during the pandemic.
Nabongo and the 600-square-foot, 1-bedroom overlooking the Detroit River are featured in a new video by CNBC's "Unlocked" home-tour series. The 37-year-old purchased the home a year ago after negotiating the $65,000 asking price down to $44,000. A full gut job and furnishings set her back an additional $52,000.
It's Nabongo's second place in the building, described as a co-op in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood with more than $600 in homeowners' association fees. The other, purchased for $42,000, serves as her office and fitness studio.
"The pandemic definitely changed my relationship with wanting to be home," says the 37-year-old, who went to her 195th country in October 2019. "Because I travel so much I just love coming back here because it allows me to slow down and center."
The wanderlust credits her parents, Ugandan immigrants, with developing her love of travel. She has a forthcoming book with National Geographic called "The Catch Me if You Can: One Woman's Journey to Every Country in the World."
Nabongo, who grew up on the west side near Rouge Park and attended Bates Academy and Renaissance High, still has family in the city. She like the calm atmosphere of her neighborhood and its proximity to Belle Isle.
"I see this as a place that I'll have forever," she says.