Uncovering opportunities in Cape Town

Inspiration shot December 2020

I was looking for an inspiring place to spend the winter, without too much time difference, somewhere with good weather and where the restaurants are open. When I saw the view from this apartment in Cape Town, I was immediately sold. Table Mountain looks different every day. And yet it is at the same time exactly the same. And that is precisely the point. If you look with different eyes, everything can suddenly seem different. A threat can become an opportunity, an unpleasant situation can be educational. This inspiration shot is therefore about creating opportunities; in Cape Town or elsewhere.

How does Cape Town deal with Covid?

After months of strict lockdown, the country is open to tourists again. Only a few dare to visit; empty planes, empty streets, empty restaurants and shops. Many restaurants, cafes and businesses have gone bankrupt. Unemployment is at 50%; the situation is desperate for many people. And yet… you see radiant, smiling faces everywhere, you hear singing and there is movement, there is action. Homeless people make beautiful statues from found steel wire, unemployed ‘big mama’s’ in the street loudly sing “Hallelujah” and those who can afford it, give them some money. Cafes open again, albeit with less staff; often the owner joins in the shifts.
Anywhere you go, your temperature is taken, you have to disinfect your hands and fill in a log before entering. Anywhere. From restaurant, to shop, to hotel. At the airport your covid test certificate is also checked to the letter. Unfortunately, most poor people don’t have a chance to disinfect themselves properly, so the number of cases across the country is increasing. But it is doable, and the country needs us – tourists – so badly. See you in South Africa?

Tea with Nelson Mandela

I stay at Mandela Rhodes Place, which has many pictures and quotes of my great hero in the lobby. Why do I admire Nelson Mandela so much? Mainly because after 27 years of wrongful imprisonment he had every reason to be bitter and angry when he was released, but instead opted for patience, peace, understanding, and constructive solutions. I myself am not much into ‘forgiveness’, so I try to zoom in on his energy and learn to let go of some frustrations.

Big five, small five, shy five

Sometimes you have to look beyond what is ‘obvious’. Africa is not only the famous ‘big five’ (which, by the way, we are rapidly eradicating), there is also a ‘small five’ and even a ‘shy five’.
A few years ago I traveled through Namibia and Botswana with my ‘fake sister’ Daphne and her husband Frodo. I discovered the ‘small five’ there: the ‘ant lion’ (an ant that traps other ants in a pit and drains them), the ‘elephant shrew’ (a type of mouse with a long snout), the ‘leopard tortoise’ (a land tortoise with a leopard print on its shell), the ‘red-billed buffalo weaver’ (a bird with a red beak that always keeps the buffalo company) and the ‘rhinoceros beetle’ (a beetle with horns on its nose, just like its namesake).
Join me on this discovery journey in the blog that I wrote about it.
In everyday life, it is also worthwhile to look beyond the obvious. Even if you can’t travel, you can make the most wonderful ‘discoveries’. So put on your ‘safari clothes’ and hang your (symbolic) binoculars around your neck…. 🙂

Do you want to learn to spot opportunities?

I am regularly asked how I always manage to turn anything into a ‘business’. From cruises to tango, from rural farms in Southern Italy to writing books. Many people struggle with the issue of what their added value/offer is, how to market it in a way that does not feel like ‘sales’ and how to convert their passion into money to fund even more adventures.
Do you also want to earn money with your passion? The secret is: don’t see it as a business!
On January 13th, 2021, I will personally help you on your way in my online workshop ‘How to turn anything into a business’. On this page, you’ll find more tips.

Did you know...?

… that I am a ‘peyote whisperer’? A what?!? I have discovered that I can communicate with the Peyote cactus – which is often used as a kind of hallucinogenic drug. Yes, really! Without any drinking, smoking, or using other drugs. I was just as amazed – and skeptical – about it as you probably are now. At first, I strongly resisted it, and later learned wonderful lessons from my interactions with the Peyote. Read about my experiences on the Facebook page ‘Wisdom of the Peyote’. Join me in some hallucinations? 😆

Where is Esther?

I came to Cape Town for six weeks. Maybe I’ll stay a little longer in South Africa. So grateful to be able to do that, as a location independent entrepreneur. I don’t have to ‘return’ anywhere. I just go where I feel most comfortable. And right now that is here in Cape Town.
During the week I work and together with my friend Annaliza with whom I share this adventure, on the weekends we go hiking in the mountains that we see through our window every day. I also got in touch with the local tango community, so I met nice people, get invited to non-touristic places, and can dance again for the first time since March!
We also discovered ‘Airbnb Experiences’: a fun way to do an excursion or activity with a local. In the park near our apartment, the Company Gardens, we have made friends with the gardeners, so that we have fresh lettuce, vegetables, and herbs every day, which we then supplement with the delicious dishes and cakes from the restaurant in the gardens.
Give me a reason to come back to wintry Europe? 🙂

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