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Photo Source: Atang and Instagram
A busy schedule got you settled? Don’t know how travel fits in? Meet Atang, who is balancing all of that. Going to medical school, traveling, and creating content is no easy feat, but she makes it look cool, beachy, and breezy. And well, that just makes us crush on her, hard.
1. Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
My name is Atang Koodirile and I am from Botswana. Currently, I am a medical student in Antigua, where I am completing my basic science courses with the hope of taking my USMLE step 1 exam soon. After that I will relocate to America, where I will continue the next phase of my medical education, which is about two more years of preclinical rotations. In essence, that is where my academic/professional career is headed for now.
As for my love of travel, being from Botswana, I already had a keen interest for traveling locally to Safari lodges and other sanctuaries for animal viewing. I always knew that I wanted to explore other countries beyond the borders of my own. My first experience was traveling to Cape Town, South Africa, where my mother attended her university studies. From 12 years old I used to travel alone to meet her there during my school vacations. She took me to all the fun and exciting places around Cape Town and I of course fell in love immediately. To this day, Cape Town is probably one of my favorite cities to visit in the world, although I haven’t been in a while.
Soon after my frequent Cape Town visits, I got to explore Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, which was also another exciting moment. I think that it would be impossible for one to see these places and not entertain the idea of seeing more. Fast forward to my high school days, I got to experience my first international trip. My high school took us to a conference in Istanbul, Turkey and this was probably the most interesting experience I had taken up. I experienced so much cultural shock but, in a way, the cultural diversity was such a beautiful sight to appreciate. It made me want to explore even more to learn about other cultures that are different from mine. The world is a global village, after all. Two years after my Turkey trip, I moved to New York, USA to pursue my bachelor’s degree, and again, I got so many opportunities to see a different side of the world and learn more about other people’s cultures, especially the yummy food.
After New York, I moved to Antigua, which as I mentioned is where I currently reside. My time here has been amazing. The white sandy beaches and the clear blue waters are the best medicine to any school/life stresses that I may have had over the past couple of years. There are no words to describe how beautiful Antigua is and having the privilege to have that as my backyard is what inspired me to start my journey as a travel content creator. I realized that I lived in paradise, and I might as well try to share a piece of it with others who are interested and help inspire more to travel. I have plans of exploring other parts of the Caribbean in the future whenever my schedule allows!
2. How do you balance medical school and not just travel, but travel content creation which is a full-time job in itself?
My travel content creation journey started while I was in medical school during the pandemic. I began with all the content that I had piled up over the years during my travels, which was quite a lot. With that said, the first months of this journey were not taxing because I had a lot of content to work with, as such, I didn’t have to go out to create more. It was the perfect setting because we were in the middle of a pandemic, so this truly kept me busy and gave me something to look forward to every day.
Once school started back up in person, I committed to going out into the island after every examination, and it was during these times that I would create as much content as I could to last for the next 1-2 months. It seems impossible when you think about it, however, if you plan out your time it really is not that bad. To summarize how I plan, some of my preparation includes getting travel inspirations from other seasoned travel content creators and creating a vision board for myself. This also includes planning outfits and poses that you will do when you get to the location. It is also important to scout out your location so that you know what to expect when you get there. All this preparation helps to avoid wasting time when it is time to shoot, and so you can get a lot done in just one day.
When it comes to sharing the content on social media, there are a lot of apps that can help you with editing and even scheduling posts. They are a life saver if you have a busy schedule. Every Sunday I would go over that week’s posts and ensure everything was ready to go. Although I have slowed down in my social media activities, this was what I did when I was active every day. Today I try to focus more on school because I am at a very critical time in my career with board exams, however, when those are done, trust and believe that you will see more of me in these Instagram and YouTube streets.
3. What is your advice to those who want to begin content creation?
My advice is to just do it! Most of us just jumped in and started doggy paddling, and still are to this day. Go into the process with an open mind and dedicate your first year to learning about the ins and outs of content creation. I know that there are a lot of seminars and masterclasses by other creators that truly help one to learn about this world, so if that’s what you would like, then try that. However, you can still do it on your own by studying what your followers enjoy from your posts and trying to meet that demand without compromising your goals. The biggest thing that I can add outside of the content planning I talked about is that, as a creator, it is important to build your community genuinely. These are the people who will support you every time that you post your content. Comment on their pictures, repost their stories if they share your posts and even send them genuine DMs expressing gratitude, all this will help you to build a solid relationship with your followers, one that may last a very long time. Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the connection with your tribe.
4. Have you ever thought about combining your passions and becoming a travel doctor or participating in programs like Doctors Without Borders?
I have absolutely thought about this and would like to combine medicine and travel in the future. I believe that a lot more opportunities will open once I have completed my studies. For now, let me focus on getting this MD so that these dreams and aspirations can actualize, haha.
5. If you had to stay in one place forever, which destination would you choose and why?
This is a very difficult question because I would like to think that I am pretty open minded when it comes to where I would like to settle. I think that the most important factor for me would be wherever my family is, I would be happy to be there. However, if I had to pick, I would say anywhere tropical, perhaps we could blame Antigua’s beautiful beaches for that.
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