One of the most frequently asked questions in my Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) is “Ndapanda, how did you become a travel creator?”
Most times, my answer is “I don’t know”. Because, to be honest, I cannot recall when exactly it happened. It just did. So, here is a short version of my journey for those who may be interested in the path.
Growing up in a poor-to-middle-income home meant I did not have much knowledge of the beauty of travel. My father travelled a little bit because of his studies, and seeing the pictures he came home with truly fascinated me. I remember so vividly a picture of him in snow, or at the famous red telephone booth in London. Of course, I did not value the essence of what that exposure really meant, but it all seemed too cool for me.
We also did a little bit of travel as a family during my younger years. I remember a Ruacana trip and to Tsumeb, my parents loved Tsumeb - with the famous Otjikoto Lake stopover. It was beautiful.
Life eventually got in the way, and although the family travel didn’t stop, it slowed down massively. We would have a short visit to the Etosha National Park every now and then, just to satisfy the travel bug – you know? It never goes away, and it never did.
Travel stayed with me all through my school years. I always knew I wanted to continue it, and promised myself that if and when I am ever able to, I will invest in travel, domestic and beyond.
That time came sooner than I expected.
I met someone who was just as crazy about travel as I was, and before we knew it, we started our journey around Namibia.
You know? It’s not something I even gave enough attention to, but I have always been creative. I write really well, I can draw, and my singing isn’t half-bad. I also do not do too badly with general creativity; I have always had an eye. All of this, interestingly, is inherited from my father. He is a genius, and so creative too!
Life went on, and my travel buddy and I continued journeying around the most beautiful parts of our country. I continued to document my travels, which had started to pick up a lot of traction on social media – more specifically Instagram. This led to the launch of my travel blog, which wasn’t that easy to get off the ground. People just were not reading blogs anymore, they wanted visuals, pictures and videos. They wanted a YouTuber, not a blogger.
A key moment in my journey as a creator was when I visited Gondwana Collection’s Desert Grace. To set the scene – the lodge is enveloped in a blush interior, with a stunning pit stop for travellers. The pit stop is a picturesque pink fridge and sitting space atop a tinny hill in the middle of the Namib Desert. It is stunning!
This moment is what completely changed the trajectory of my content-creator journey.
Brands took notice of me from that very picture, and the deals started rolling in. I had the pleasure of choosing who I wanted to align with, which excited me a lot!
Ndapanda, the travel creator, was born........and the rest, as they say, is history.
* Do not hesitate to reach out to me should you need any travel consultation, collaboration and everything in-between.
Facebook: Ndapanda Haininga