The Seville Remote Worker Story Series gives you an opportunity to get to know some of the members of Seville Remote Workers and learn more about how remote working life is possible, here in Seville. Let’s get stuck in! Want to feature? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Hello there, my name is Naomi Rustenberg and I live with my husband and two boys in Seville. We’re from the Netherlands but have been here in Seville since December 2019. We came to Spain so we could spend more time as a family and have a more balanced life. Our first wish was granted very quickly as we faced the lockdown in Spain and spent a lot of time together in our house. Even during the
lockdown, we felt like we belonged in Seville. This is the place we needed to be.
What brought me to Sevilla?
I thought of moving closer to the location where I used to work in the Netherlands, but my husband wasn’t really digging it. When he said, “remember when we first met and immediately said we wouldn’t mind living abroad?” I knew he didn’t want to stay in the Netherlands. We visited different cities in Spain and stopped in Utrera to meet with a longtime friend of my husband. We met another older (not elderly) couple, and they invited us to their home in Montequinto (Dos Hermanas, a city
close to the city of Seville). It was nice to visit them, but I didn’t think we would meet again. My husband and I and our eldest son, who was just a baby back then, explored Sevilla more and we fell in love with this region. We still had another city to visit (as we already planned) in the Netherlands but Sevilla was still on our minds when we returned to the Netherlands. It was helpful that we already knew that couple when we came back to orientate more.
Currently, I work as a freelance and remote Dutch copywriter. So that is my LinkedIn title now, but I feel more like a versatile entrepreneur, focusing on topics such as family life, mom life, startups etc. I love to do several things all at once. So, I do write for other companies and advise them on how to reach different groups in the Netherlands, but I also have my own blog and I sell family planners in the Netherlands and in Belgium.
If I were to give one piece of advice to anyone looking at working from Seville remotely
Don’t try to do and know it all. Find different networks and businesses that can contribute to your establishment and growth for your work and private life. Search for an international community to start with. Get your taxes done by a professional if you’re not sure what to do. It saves you a lot of time, hassle and even money.
One piece of software or tool I cannot live without
Well, I do love my laptop a lot. I’m afraid I just can’t live without that device anymore. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we moved from the Netherlands to Seville. The blue sky here has a positive effect on me and my creativity. When I’m not looking at my laptop screen while working, I just look outside and I get energized. I enjoy my coffee breaks more when I work from home. Software-wise, I do use Microsoft Office a lot. I feel like a dinosaur now! But of course, I also use online planning and publishing tools, but they are replaceable.
One piece of advice I would give someone when they’re looking to meet new people in the city
It can be tricky, and it doesn’t get easier when you’re a mom with young
children. Luckily, I have a loving husband as well but to stay married you need to spend time just as a couple. You really need to discuss everything even more, while back at home in the Netherlands that wasn’t the case because a lot of things, in time, were set in stone. We came to Seville to spend more time together and I am happy we’re experiencing that. Because of family life, there seems to be less time for other relationships. But even so, it is also good to have other connections. You still must make that a priority for your family and personal life. I recommend IT’s July to make new family friends. Don’t get isolated, not as a family, not as an individual. Get to know other internationals but connect also with locals. Be part of a community. My Spanish sucks but I am still working on it. I’m not giving up. Spaniards appreciate it.
My biggest challenges working remotely, and how I got through them
One of the biggest challenges – still – is to get information as an autonóma. As I said before, my Spanish isn’t great now, hopefully, that will be different soon. But a lot of information, meetings about entrepreneurship, being a freelancer etc. is all in Spanish and not in English. I feel like I’m missing out on valuable information. That is a problem, so that is why I’m in different Facebook groups to know what people are talking about. I also ask my gestoría a lot of questions because I don’t know how the tax system really works here. I’m getting to know other autonómos. Did I get through the challenge called information bias? No, not yet.
My one piece of wisdom for anyone reading this who is considering taking the
leap to work remotely from Seville
Do it. Just do it. But please be realistic. Spain is a European country but sometimes it feels like another continent to me (e.g., weatherwise, culture-wise, doing business). But even in Spain, there are huge differences in the way people behave and talk. The culture in Sevilla is very different than for instance Madrid. If you don’t try to integrate, it can be lonely. Take Spanish classes, meet up with other internationals or expats but also connect with Sevillians.
Where can people connect with me?
If you are looking for a Dutch copywriter and Dutch market advisor, please reach out to me through LinkedIn. Information about my services can also be found through Ellen Mae. Ellen Mae is my company name. If you want to meet with me and my family, let us match via It’s July. I love to network!