After having successively lived in Bali which gave rise to our very first collection on the Blank Travel store, followed by Porto, Berlin and finally Cape Town, we're starting to know what's best for ourselves as so called "digital nomads". Here's a little review of our nomadic life in Cape Town.
In this article, we listed the essentials on how to choose a location as a digital nomad. South Africa was both on our bucket lists as well as Brazil and Canada. But we have a cat... By the way, have you met her on our Instagram yet? Hipsty, 6 years old, green eyes, hard working cat CEO and art director. Yes, we are those kind of travellers with a furry friend. And part of the deal with her (various) cat-sitters is 6 months in Europe, 6 months far away.
Cape Town was a destination I've always dreamt of visiting. From the amazing landscapes to the multicultural society, it's just a place we both wanted to see for ourselves. But we are not always well-prepared for such a different way of life. I was not prepared to face the segregation in this city. Many people often asked me if I was shocked by the poverty in India - which I have visited twice. The answer was always no. Was I shocked by the poverty in South Africa? Yes. Because in Cape Town and most the cities we have visited during our 3 months period are localised.
Max and I are Europeans, meaning that we love discovering a city by just walking around. Something we couldn't simply do while in Cape Town. Well, you sort of can but at the same time you can't just freely wander like we're used to, not thinking of where we're going and what little dark alley we're exploring. Don't get this wrong, there is no regret whatsoever of spending 3 months in Cape Town and we both recommend everyone to visit this amazing place - but like some of our Capetonian drivers said: "you just have to be street-smart".
Advantages of living in South Africa
✅ Monthly rental price: as soon as you're not staying during the high season, prices are quite low, especially compared to other European destinations
✅ Choices in restaurants and food - delicious and affordable
✅ The ability to head to the beach and surf after or before work
✅ Weekend getaways taking you to absolutely gorgeous places in less than an hour drive – all you need is car, and rental prices are very affordable too
Disadvantages of living in Cape Town
❌ The internet is not the fastest and not always reliable unless you're working from a coworking space
❌ It's almost impossible to live in South Africa without driving a car. For weekend getaways we simply rented a car and used Uber as well as local Taxis on a daily basis
❌ Don't even think about walking alone by night in the city
❌ You sort of have to watch your back quite a bit (and it's exhausting)
Now, let's briefly talk about this safety aspect. Whilst it's known that South Africa has some serious safety issues and the statistics can be quite shocking, it is worth noting that in the 3 months we spent there we didn't once feel in true danger. Yes, we felt uncomfortable in certain moments and yes there are certain things you just shouldn't do, but as long you're not a complete idiot about it and remain "street smart" you will be fine.
Even though, for us, not being to able or at least not feeling comfortable enough to walk freely wherever we wanted at whatever time we wanted was something that was a little hard to adjust to, it doesn't mean that it's not safe to walk in Cape Town – we did walk, we were just careful where and when. Still, it is important to remember South Africa's history and today's inequalities and issues the country faces. However don't let that prevent you from visiting this wonderful place. With all its advantages and disadvantages (let's face it, every place has them), we know we loved our time there! 🇿🇦 #CapeTownFever