New Developments Toward a Simple Life!

 

Back in June, we decided to take action on some ideas that we had swirling around in our minds for the last year or so. In our almost five years of serving here in Spain, we have learned so much about what is possible with Jehovah’s spirit and what it really takes to be happy. Each year it seems that we learn new lessons along these lines that end up shaping our actions going forward. As we have now been in the south of Spain with our current congregation for a couple of years we felt that things were going well. Actually, a little too good if that makes any sense. Even while serving in another country we could see that it is still possible to get a little “too comfortable” and that there is always more to do and new ways to grow in our service. We had a very nice apartment near the ocean and we were pretty comfortable with our teaching jobs and our routine. So why change, right? Well, we wanted to make ourselves even more available to take up any opportunity as well as to simplify our lives so that we can more fully focus on kingdom interests. In order to do this, we needed to free up our time and our expenses to a greater degree. So one of the ways that we thought we could do this would be to leave our apartment for something different. For those that were following us in June, you know that we went to the UK. Here’s what was going on behind the scenes and how things worked out.

Leading up to our trip to the UK we had given the notice to leave our apartment by mid-June. At that time we didn’t have anything else lined up but we knew that if we worked in harmony with our prayers then things would fall into place. We also decided to both take leave from our teaching jobs for the summer so that we could focus on our new projects. One of these projects was the creation of our YCTEO Course. This would be a way for us to help more people to be able to support themselves as needgreaters as well as a way for us to have complete freedom with our time. The course was a lot of work to develop but we are happy with the final results. At this point, we were giving up both our apartment and our jobs with the goal of simplifying. We had some ideas of what we could do but a lot was still up in the air. Our course launched one week before we were set to leave our apartment. The course was only open for enrolment for one week and on the Sunday that it closed we would be leaving our apartment. Needless to say, that week was quite stressful but also exciting. We really had to rely on Jehovah during that time and be confident that we were making the right decision for our circumstances and with good motives. As the week finished out we were excited about the good response that the course received! So what happened next? The day that we left our apartment we decided to take action on the second part of our plan. We would go to the UK to purchase a caravan which would be our new home. So that Monday we set off to the UK with our trusty Renault Kangoo. We didn’t have any specific caravan selected already. Instead, we decided to just go and find one once we arrived. After a few days of traveling through Spain and France as well as taking the Ferry across the English Channel, we finally reached the UK. Now it was time to start making some visits to caravans. We searched for a few days and saw all sorts of caravans around the country. We found one that we knew would be perfect for us because it had the layout that we wanted as well as solar panels and it was well taken care of. We really saw Jehovah’s hand in preserving it for us. We had gone to see it and we decided to take a day to think about making an offer. In that time someone offered to buy it sight unseen. The owners decided to save it until we had decided since we saw it first! These and many other things helped us to see that this was the right one for us. We ended up buying the caravan and then we headed back to the south of Spain taking it across the ferry and then driving the rest of the way.

Another issue that we would have to encounter was where to put the caravan. Land is sometimes difficult to find in this area and caravan camping parks are not so cost-effective. We searched through the classifieds and we found some land that was located only five minutes from the kingdom hall. The land was also in a scenic area surrounded by trees with a view of the ocean and cool ocean breezes. We were able to secure the land and now we have a home for our caravan. By the way, we named her “Anna” from Downton Abbey. Our Kangoo is named “Mr. Bates”. Our plan is to build an off-the-grid setup with our caravan on the land. In time we may plant some things as well. We have seen Jehovah’s hand in so many ways connected to these events that it is really faith-strengthening. Now we are able to have an even simpler life and focus to a greater extent on kingdom interests. As a result of our efforts online, we are taking a break from teaching as we focus more on helping others to learn how to support themselves so that they can serve where the need is great as well. We hope that you find this post encouraging!

If you want to learn how we support ourselves in our assignment and how you can do the same thing we wrote a book that will teach you how to get started teaching English online and work anywhere in the world. To check it out just click here.

If you want to get your TESOL Certificate so that you can start teaching English. We are partnered with American TESOL Institute to be able to offer an Online TESOL Course. This is the same course that Kanicia took and it has helped us to continue serving abroad continuously since 2013. To check out our TESOL Courses just click here.

We also recently developed a brand new course from the ground up called You Can Teach English Online. This course is designed to help you get started teaching English Online and succeed at it. At the moment the course is on a waitlist only. You can sign up by clicking here to be notified when it becomes open for enrollment again. 

If you would like to learn from our experience moving abroad then check out our seven day moving abroad guide.

If you enjoyed this post be sure to follow our Instagram accounts  @jwabroad and @kaniciacognard. We post regular updates from our experiences serving abroad and we usually do Instagram stories of what is going on during the day. Turn on post notifications on Instagram for more photos and videos. Oh yeah, we also have a new Instagram account for “Anna”. You can follow her adventures and transformation by clicking on @annathecaravan. If you like this post or have any questions let us know in the comments and be sure to share it with others that would appreciate it and follow for blog post updates and other fun stuff by clicking the link below.

Your friends,
Antoine & Kanicia

10 Replies to “New Developments Toward a Simple Life!”

  1. Wonderful faith , it’s exactly what I would like to do . I presently live in the UK and have had the privilege of doing 3 one month SNG holidays in Spain one in Mexico and one in Ecquadorsister . How would I locate land in a given area suitable for living in a caravan?

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment! That’s nice to hear that you would like to do something similar. About the land, we just looked on the popular classified listings for our country.

  2. Kit Molinari says:

    My Aunt and Uncle Jay and Shelley Manriquez as well as my cousin Tabitha and Kevin Manriquez Zabel suggested I follow you. I have for awhile and find your posts very encouraging and I’m on your mail list and am seriously considering taking the TESOL course and then your course when it opens again. I currently have a full-time position with benefits but am thinking I might be able to start small in my “off” hours is that unrealistic?

    1. Hi Kit! We’re happy that you follow our adventures. Nice to hear that our friends recommend us to others :). Regarding starting to teach online while still having your FT job it really depends on you. Some people are able to do it and then build up from there but it really depends on how disciplined you are. My wife Kanicia started teaching online while still working at her job in California although she was only working part-time. This was invaluable though as it prepared her to know what to expect when it came to teaching as well as to build up her resume while still in the US. So I can’t really answer for you but just know that it is possible if you are determined enough and can organize your schedule well. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out by email if you have any questions along the way.

  3. Diane Milano says:

    I love this . Congrats. I am curious what jobs did you have while serving as need greaters? Was it online? Did you have college degrees?
    And amazing how you are downsizing even more.
    I look forward to the day our family can do this. Due to our debts , it won’t happen soon enough. We have been looking for smaller home and still have enough room for 4 adults. It’s not easy as often it’s cheaper to buy a home than rent in our area. I keep it in Jehovah’s hands.

    1. Hi Diane, thanks for your comment! As we serve here where the need is great in Spain we mainly focused on teaching English whether online or in person to support ourselves. The vast majority of those in the English field (and around the world) do this type of work to support their ministry. I started off working in a physical academy in the north of Spain and then we eventually both made the transition to working online as English teachers. I have a college degree and my wife has an associates degree.

      At this point, we have taken a step back from teaching online and we instead focus on helping other needgreaters to learn how to find a job and succeed at teaching English online through our YCTEO Course. Best wishes on your plans!

  4. Hi there! Myself and my wife live in Ireland and work full time. We long to alteration our circumstances so to have a fuller part in preaching. We both have our TEFL qualifications so are ready to go but just need a few recommendations regarding companies to work for. As Ireland is English speaking it would need to be online work. Thank you for your pictures and sorry we missed speaking with you in Madrid.

    1. Hi Joel, thanks for the comment and that’s nice to hear about your desire to have a fuller part in the preaching work. If you need some recommendations for companies to work for you can browse the blog for different posts with companies. In addition to that, we wrote a book that covers over twenty of the best companies to work for. You may find that helpful. We also have our YCTEO course which comes with an app that we created with over 300 different online English teaching companies. All links are in the menu. Hope this helps, regards!

  5. Hello! I think that it’s wonderful how you guys are helping others be able to do this! as there is really no outline for witnesses who would like to do this. You guys really inspire me. My question is, once you receive the TESOL certification, is it necessary to have a degree in something? because I know that some companies require it and that would be by only worry for now, because I currently don’t have a degree. Thank you so much for your help and I am so glad I was able to run into you guys!

    1. Hi Kesiah, thanks for the message! It is definitely possible to teach English online without a BS degree. There are literally hundreds of schools out there and while it’s true that there are some that require college degrees there are plenty that do not. My wife does not have a BS degree but she has been teaching online for the last several years. Every company is different regarding their hiring requirements but I wouldn’t let not having a college degree hold you back.

      In our book, we review many of the top companies that have different hiring requirements. That’s a good way to get an understanding of the industry. Also, in our YCTEO course which is designed to fast-track the job process we have created an app with over 300 online teaching companies and they are divided up between needing a degree and not needing one.

      So you can see that it is possible to teach online without a BS/BA degree you just have to get the right company and also having other qualifications such as a teaching certificate goes a long way. We hope this helps!

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