Cape Town Time:


Living and Working in Cape Town: A Digital Nomad’s Experience of the City

11 November 2020

Cape Town is Svetlana Svintsova’s temporary living quarters and remote office.

For the past two years, the Russian national has been living in Cape Town while working as a public relations manager for a medical training academy in her home country.

“I am in the fortunate position of being able to do my job from anywhere in the world, as long as I have a stable internet connection, and good coffee of course.”

Svetlana Svintsova

Svintsova started dreaming about visiting Cape Town after seeing a television commercial showcasing the city’s breath-taking beauty ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“Lots of people told me that South Africa could be dangerous, but I felt that I had to find that out for myself,” says Svintsova. “The first time I set foot on Cape Town soil was in January 2019. I fell in love with the city instantly, and on my return to Russia, I immediately started planning my next visit to the Mother City.”

A welcoming city

Svintsova is a self-proclaimed digital nomad. So far, she has visited 22 countries and says that she’s never felt more welcome in any other city.

“I find it fascinating that this city is so rich in culture and this makes me feel as if I am part of Cape Town’s diversity. I love that I feel accepted here in this city. Everyone leads a pretty active lifestyle here that’s combined with nature and also looking after nature.”

Most people here are caring, friendly and have a positive attitude. I find that this keeps me motivated and inspired.

The best of both worlds

Svintsova says she would recommend Cape Town to anyone considering a remote work destination in Africa.

Svetlana Svintsova

“Working remotely here feels like I get the best of both worlds,” says Svintsova.

“Because of the exchange rate, I feel like I am living a much better quality of life here and I know that I am stimulating the local economy by paying for goods and services in Cape Town and supporting local businesses. I feel very fortunate that I could spend the whole of lockdown here. I felt safe and my visa was extended, but now that the boarders are opening again, I will have to take a very expensive international flight out of the country in order to continue my life here. This is the only drawback in my situation.”

Asked to described her experience of Cape Town, Svintsova says it would have to be “Ubuntu”, meaning “I am, because you are”.

“I feel the meaning of this word everywhere I look. I can see how people from all walks of life are taking hands to come together and helping each other through this tough time. The people of Cape Town has made me feel accepted and reminded me that I am also playing a role as a part of this beautiful city. This city of smiling faces.”