All posts by joburgrudolph

Top 10 Johannesburg Hotels: Where and When to Stay

The best budget Johannesburg hotels #Hatfield; Where you can stay to explore by transit and when the weather is best

Hatfield near Union Buildings derek-wolmarans
Hatfield near Union Buildings derek-wolmarans

Hotels Hatfield

Okay not technically in Jo’burg, but Hatfield is only 33 minutes by Gautrain to Sandton and makes a great base from which to explore Jo’burg and Pretoria. There are a wide range of hotels in Hatfield and neighboring Arcadia. Hotels here are more affordable than those which cater for well-healed business travelers in Sandton.

Hatfield is also home to one of South Africa’s top universities; The University of Pretoria. You will be sure to find some buzzing pubs with lithe young creatures that cater to the university crowd. I’ve researched rates for March 2017 and you can expect to pay around R808.40 per night for a good three-star hotel with breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

Top 10 Budget Johannesburg Hotels

Price per room per night March 2017    
Protea Hotel by Marriot Pretoria Capital R 623.00 $43.61 39.87 € £34.27
The Park Lodge R 690.00 $48.30 44.16 € £37.95
Hotel 224 R 700.00 $49.00 44.80 € £38.50
Protea Hotel by Marriot Pretoria Hatfield R 724.00 $50.68 46.34 € £39.82
Arcadia Hotel R 781.00 $54.67 49.98 € £42.96
Morning Star Express Hotel R 810.00 $56.70 51.84 € £44.55
Sierra Burgers Park Hotel R 821.00 $57.47 52.54 € £45.16
Holiday Inn Express Pretoria Sunnypark R 960.00 $67.20 61.44 € £52.80
Manhattan Hotel R 970.00 $67.90 62.08 € £53.35
Protea Hotel by Marriot Pretoria Manor R 1 005.00 $70.35 64.32 € £55.28
Three Star Hotel Average R 808.40 $56.59 51.74 € £44.46

Wikipedia Johannesburg 

 O.R. Tambo International Airport 22.5 kms (14 mi) east of Sandton CDB is Africa’s busiest airport with 20,375,626 passengers per year. The hottest month is January with an average high of 25.6°C (78.1°F). The coldest month is June with an average low of 4.1°C (39.4°F). The rainiest month is January with 125mm (4.92 inches).

Feeling inspired to go to Jo’burg?   Continue reading Top 10 Johannesburg Hotels: Where and When to Stay

Nomadic Me: Rudolph Escaping Corporate

Escaping Corporate and dealing with layoffs; My journey from anxiety and CFS to being a digital nomad in the gig economy

Rudolph Escaping Corporate
Rudolph Escaping Corporate

After 14 years of corporate life, I should have felt quite content and accepting of my lot. I was a risk specialist working at a large corporate and I had a nice home, a seaside apartment and a German car in my garage. Sure, dragging myself out of bed on Monday mornings took some effort and I would have more dreams at night about work targets than about frolicking with my favourite Hollywood star. But life as a 38-year-old Johannesburg pen-pusher was decent.

#layoffs

I can’t say that life unraveled quickly; I was but a toad in a slowly heating pot.  A disengaged toad growing more rotund the deeper I got into my thirties. I stood at a crossroads, faced by a new CEO at the ICT company I was working for. He had a penchant for layoffs to boost quarterly earnings. And I either had to prove myself irreplaceable with some new enthusiasm for my monotonous corporate governance work or imagine myself without a solid paycheck.

At first I soldiered on. Thinking, as one does, that I have proved myself over the years and that it was clear for all to see my worth and intellect. Problem being, ours was not a revenue earning division and all the CEO saw was the dreamy glitter of a new Porsche in his driveway, purchased with his next performance bonus. Half our team was on the chopping block.

#anxiety

Next, I racked my mind for a plan B and plan C—literally penned and printed—I was a Risk Specialist after all and mitigations were my game. My energy went into imagining a new path. My disengagement from the rightsizing corporate grew and my performance slowed to a crawl even though the deadlines were still hurtling at me. My health suffered too. Coughing, body aches and constant exhaustion. All the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

I would drive to work in the mornings distracted by some good tunes and witty banter from the DJ on the radio. But then, on my 5-minute walk from the car park, my mind would turn to looming deadlines and my growing disengagement made me realize I was far from irreplaceable and that I could easily end up in the layoffs pile. Queue anxiety attack and profuse sweating that soaked my shirt just as I got started for the day. This happened repeatedly over a two-month period. I made a sorry sight indeed and clearly things could not go on like that much longer.

#downsizing

I wanted to escape the city, the rat-race and hunker down somewhere far away from all my worries. To sleep away all the emotional exhaustion and quell my anxiety. I knew it would be a hard sell for my friends and family. Most thought fighting for my spot in corporate and the steady paycheck was the smarter thing to do. Looking back, it was quite brave of me to inform my boss that I would not re-apply for my position and that I would opt for a severance package instead.

Did the bravery pay off? Well, not in the way I pictured it would. I bought a plot of land by the sea and imagined myself building a cottage there and hiding away from the stresses of the world. Downshifting sounded pretty good. True, at 38 I was young to be semi-retired. But, with no children to support and with some steady income from my property investments, I had a good shot at a happy life. I didn’t see myself leading a luxury life with all the trimmings, rather it dawned on me that a minimalist existence of experiences rather than stuff would suit me just fine.

#CFS

Instead, after a couple of weeks outside of corporate, my health improved and anxiety lifted. Reducing stress seems to work remarkably well for CFS.  I had a new verve for life. Energy to want to travel the world and start an online business. E-commerce is growing rapidly and the idea of working from my laptop anywhere in the world with an internet connection seemed mightily appealing. And it seems I am not the only one.

According to Wikipedia, the digital nomad lifestyle is growing in popularity. There seems to be no shortage of paths to digital nomad living; blogging, vlogging, publishing and online business. The world may not be ready yet for a ginger from South Africa to be its next vlogging star, but fortunately there are other online and passive income options and cheap locations like Bali or Budapest to get by on a modest income. And if the flexible working allows me to fit in an afternoon siesta, I’m certainly in!

#digitalnomad

Yes, there will be sacrifices along the way. AirBnB hosts who work on my nerves. Giving up my car. Selling more of my belongings. Missing family and friends back home. Maintaining a decent diet and fitness program on the road. I may become even more rotund. But from where I’m sitting, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Never in history has so much information been at our fingertips to overcome these nomadic obstacles. Google Maps knows the nearest pharmacy. My cellphone can help me translate. The web allows me to find the cheapest flights. I can access freelancing gigs to finance my way. There has never been a better time than now. Seems that CEO may have done me a favour; I won’t begrudge him his new Porsche. I’ve been the winner in all of this; he can answer to his board of directors while I take my afternoon nap.

So, armed with a Dummies book by my side and some inspiring online lectures I remain enthusiastic and surprisingly free of fear for what the future holds. In the words of Winston Churchill: “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” It seems half the battle is already won with a positive attitude and a brandy in hand. Let’s see where this journey takes me.

@nomadicyou What is the best way to escape corporate? How do you thrive in your new #digitalnomad or #downshifting life?

Nomad Books: Escaping Corporate

Being a digital nomad or downshifting author. NomadicRudolph tells why he is choosing to publish Escaping Corporate as an e-book

cat-and-keyboard-editing
cat-and-keyboard-editing

Downshifting Author

I have a love for self-help books, maps, lists and other useful info. It seemed to me that since I have decided to try the gig economy, I may as well research before I leap. What are the best ways to earn income working remotely? Which budget destinations have good Wi-Fi and cheap alcohol? Should I try van living or AirBnB? Then it occurred to me, why not get tips from other digital nomads and downshifters and learn from their mistakes. All this info should make for a pretty good e-book.

Cat and Keyboard

I have decided to self-publish on Amazon before I consider going to print. It is quite a process: writing, editing, formatting, submitting to Amazon and then doing some marketing too.Luckily for me, I know a very good editor and manuscript evaluator; Loukie Adlem. She is editing away at Escaping Corporate. I love the name of her website, it is titled CatandKeyboard.com. Give her a shout if you are an aspiring author looking to self-publish too.

 

#nomadiclife

How travel and adventure awaits digital nomads in the gig economy; Remote working from campervan to Cancun

 

#nomadincome

What are netrepreneurs doing to finance their exotic lifestyles? Is e-commerce, passive income or residual income best?

 

#downshiftlife

Remote work and the sharing economy make downshifting easier than ever. Where are the best places to live for simple living?

 

#downshiftchoices

Polygamous cult or tiny home? From urban to off-grid there are downshifting alternatives for all.

 

#nomadcities

The most affordable global cities for you to consider. What makes a great city for digital nomads and downshifters?

 

#nomadtip

Tips from authors, bloggers and our nomadicyou.com community on achieving a happy digital nomad or downshifting life 

 @nomadicyou Are you considering #remotework as an #author? What are the perks of writing away from home?

Nomadic List: Top 10 affordable Visa Free countries

Affordable visa free countries for digital nomads and downshifters. US and UK citizens have plenty of options, from Peru to South Africa and more

visa-free-countries-playa-del-carmen-carolyn-coles
visa-free-countries-playa-del-carmen-carolyn-coles

Slow Travel

For the digital nomads working remotely from all corners of the globe is easy if you have a good Wi-Fi connection. But the cost of all those flights soon adds up. That will simply not do; having to work long gig economy hours and not having time for the Antalya beaches or pubs.

Try some slow travel then to keep the airfare budget down. These 10 visa free countries are both affordable and come without the visa fuss. Of course, UK citizens can make use of their Visa free entry in to Europe before the Brexit negotiations topple the apple cart. US citizens can also enjoy 3 months visa free travel to the 26 Schengen area countries. (Pity then I only hold a South African passport.)

Visa Run

Downshifters will likely be more concerned with the retirement visa requirements. Although you could bypass even this, by doing a visa run and popping back to your home country each time the tourist visa expires.

What is stopping you then? Escaping the gloomy English weather or a Trump presidency is easier than you think! (Apparently the Canadian immigration website has crashed as I write, hehe) Now all you need to do is convince your significant other; but it should be an easy sell, who can resist Peru or Mexico?

Top 10 affordable Visa Free countries

  1.       Peru: Visa Free up to 183 days on arrival
  2.       Mexico: 180 days Visa Free
  3.       Turkey: 3 months with an eVisa
  4.       Malaysia: 3 months Visa Free
  5.       South Africa: 90 days Visa Free
  6.       Argentina: 90 days Visa free
  7.       Chile: 90 days Visa free
  8.       Colombia: 90 days Visa Free
  9.       Ecuador: 90 days Visa Free
  10.   Nepal: 90 days Visa on Arrival

@NomadicYou Do you prefer slow #travel or a quick visit. #Peru, #Nepal or #Turkey? And how long do you need to immerse yourself?

The best digital nomad destinations for cheap travel

From Bangalore to Chiang Mai. The Top 25 best digital nomad destinations that are good for downshifters too. Which city is for you?

Bangalore India, Cheapest of the best digital nomad destinations
Bangalore India, Cheapest of the best digital nomad destinations

Nomadic You’s Top 25 digital nomad destinations are based on approximate travel cost per day for slow travel using a transit pass and long stay (28 days plus) accommodation discount. All 25 global cities on this list make it under the $50 per day travel cost mark!

India and Thailand fare well on cost although tourist visas are typically limited to a 30 day stay. Mexico or Peru make great slow travel destinations with six months visa free for tourists. South Africa and Turkey have two affordable cities each and are visa free for up to 3 months per visit.

Top 25 best digital nomad destinations

# Country Cost per day      
1   Bangalore $21.97 20.21€ £18.02
2   Delhi $29.29 26.95€ £24.02
3   Chiang Mai $30.54 28.10€ £25.05
4   Johor Baru $31.16 28.67€ £25.55
5   Colombo $31.75 29.21€ £26.03
6   Hanoi $33.69 31.00€ £27.63
7   Bali $34.94 32.14€ £28.65
8   Antalya $35.69 32.83€ £29.26
9   Bogota $36.51 33.59€ £29.94
10   SaintPetersburg $37.51 34.51€ £30.76
11   PlayaDelCarmen $38.39 35.32€ £31.48
12   Lima $38.58 35.49€ £31.64
13   Johannesburg $38.90 35.79€ £31.90
14   Budapest $38.96 35.84€ £31.94
15   Santiago $39.27 36.13€ £32.20
16   Warsaw $40.01 36.81 € £32.81
17   Prague $41.32 38.01 € £33.88
18   Mexico City $42.43 39.03 € £34.79
19   Bangkok $43.94 40.43 € £36.03
20   Istanbul $44.29 40.75 € £36.32
21   Buenos Aires $44.56 41.00 € £36.54
22   Phuket $44.90 41.31 € £36.82
23   Lisbon $48.34 44.47 € £39.64
24   Cape Town $49.38 45.43 € £40.49
25   Athens $49.70 45.72 € £40.75

@NomadicYou What are the most important qualities budget destination must have to be a super place for digital nomads and downshifters?

Nomad City Top 10 Emoji Transit Map

Nomadic You’s emoji transit map gives you a quick overview of the top 10 sights for each nomad city. From sights to shopping and more.

Top 10 Emoji Transit Map Cape Town
Top 10 Emoji Transit Map Cape Town

I love a good transit map; it is so much easier to see the lay of the land and to know where to stay to make the most of your digital nomad trip or long-term downshifting life.

 

#shopping

The largest transit accessible shopping mall in the city. Meet the locals, shop till you drop, catch a movie or grab some lunch.

 

#dining

A good selection of pavement cafes and fine food. The place to see and be seen in the city.

 

#nightlife

Where the city comes to life after dark. Party with the locals and research the local beer and wine.

 

#relax

A peaceful oasis in the city. Catch some sun and have an ice cream or two

 

#sporty

Time for some exercise in the city. Somewhere to cycle, jog, paddle or even kite surf

 

#nomadhotel

A central location from which to explore the city. We highlight areas close to the city action by transit

 

#lgbt

The gay village. That part of the city with the best range of gay friendly restaurants and gay clubs.

 

#citysights

Some older parts of the city. Take in the architecture and history of the nomadic city.

 

#airport

The main international airport. Enter and exit nomadic city here. We highlight transit routes from the airport.

 

#station

The main metro or rapid bus stations; We highlight the most important transit line in the city.

 

#selfie

One of the most scenic spots in the city. Be sure to look your best for a selfie (and don’t wander into oncoming traffic).

@nomadicyou Do you like to #travel by #transit? What activities are top of your list exploring a #nomadcity?

Tranquil towns for Cape Town country living

The Western Cape has it all; beaches, winelands, mountains and cheap property. Five fine towns to buy your slice of Cape Town Country living

cape-town-country-living-franschoek-photo-by-south-african-tourism
Cape Town Country Living Franschoek, Photo by South African Tourism

Why did Rudolph buy property in Betty’s Bay Western Cape? And with a higher budget where would he buy next?

The case for Western Cape property is an easy one to make. Of all the provinces in South Africa, the Western Cape offers the best quality of living and that is why many South Africans are semi-grating there.

I chose to invest in Betty’s Bay because the stands there are dirt cheap. The natural setting and beaches are spectacular. And it is only an hours’ drive from Cape Town International Airport.

Here is my pick of five towns you must see on your country-house hunting trip before deciding. And a rough guide of what you can expect to pay for a typical home in each town.

#1 Franschoek for foodies

Highlights: South Africa’s culinary capitol, picturesque wine farms and laid-back village lifestyle

Properties: 2 Bedroom apartment from $95,000, 3-bedroom house from $195,000

#2 Hermanus for whale-spotting

Highlights: Blue flag Grotto Beach, Whale watching and Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Properties: 1-bedroom from $34,000, 3-bedroom apartment from $67,000

#3 Stellenbosch for wine-lovers

Highlights: Waterford Estate Wine Farm, Historic Dorp Street and University of Stellenbosch

Properties: 2-bedroom apartment from $52,000, 3-bedroom house $128,000

#4 Paarl for golfers

Highlights: Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, Fairview Wine & Cheese and Pearl Valley Golf Estate

Properties: 2-bedroom apartments from $38,000. 3-bedroom golf estate houses Pearl Valley from $195,000

#5 Bettys Bay for Artists

Highlights: Stony Point Penguin Colony, Harold Porter Botanical Gardens and Arabella Golf Estate and Spa

Properties: Stands from $13,000 (Yes, so cheap) and 3-bedroom houses from $57,000

After seeing this video from Xplorio, you won’t be able to resist Betty’s bay!

Try South Africa’s top property website www.property24.com for a home to rent or buy to enjoy some Cape Town Country living.

@NomadicYou #beachfront or #winelands? Which Western Cape #holidayhome is for you?