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Hello everyone and a happy first day of August to you all! These past two weeks have been quite a roller coaster of experiences, emotions and new experiences for Kanicia and I. As some of you may know we recently attended the special convention in Milan, Italy and have been on vacation traveling around Europe in our campervan. As I sit here writing this blog post now we are in a trendy boutique hotel in the capital of Slovenia taking some time to relax from a busy day and high temperatures outside. In this post, I’ll try to share some of the experiences that we’ve been able to enjoy recently in Spain, France, Italy and now Slovenia. Hopefully, it will be of encouragement and you’ll find it an enjoyable read.
On a side note, the blog was down for a few days recently. This was because of our web hosting company Bluehost. They messed up several of our websites and it was a nightmare to deal with them to get everything restored. This is why you’ll notice that on older posts many of the pictures are not displaying properly. We’ll be looking for a new hosting company soon. Anyways, let’s get back to the blog.
If you read our last post then you know that before making the trip for the convention we spent a week in Lisbon, Portugal. After leaving Lisbon we headed back to Spain to the town of Salamanca. This town is a big college town and they have great food as well. Once we reached Salamanca we headed to the mountains to a camping spot that Kanicia had picked out. After driving through lovely mountain scenery we finally arrived at our destination. It was a nice quiet campervan spot near a river away from all the towns. There were only a few other guests there which was a nice change from busy Lisbon. In the end, we decided to move the camper van to a lookout point high in the mountains. This was our first time actually using the camper van and staying in it over night. Thankfully everything worked out well and it was a good experience.
After leaving Salamanca we made our way up towards France. We were really looking forward to this since we would be driving through where we used to live in the Basque region or Green Spain as some call it. It was so refreshing and beautiful to drive through the quaint Basque villages in the mountains. As Spain continues into France you wouldn’t even know it since the Basque region continues on in France. If you ever have the chance this is easily one of the most beautiful parts of Spain to visit. We settled into the ocean side town of Bayonne in France for the evening. This town has all of the French personality that you would expect with a strong Basque character. We were able to find a spot not far from the water as we enjoyed live music nearby. We always enjoy any chance we get to visit France since it’s just a beautiful country and the croissants and food are as good as you’ve heard!
After spending some time in this part of France we made our way up towards Bordeaux and we stopped in a few places as we took our time and enjoyed the scenery and all that France has to offer. One of the highlights of our drive through France was the French Alps near the border with Italy. These mountains inspire awe and are breathtaking to look at. The scenery is gorgeous and you can’t help but want to constantly pull over and take photos.
After leaving France we arrived in Italy! We stopped at a town near the border to rest before finally making it to Milan. We were able to pop into a locals coffee shop to have a couple of cappuccinos. The shop was run by one man and you felt like you were in some old Italian movie as you entered. The coffee was delicious and we wish we could have stayed longer just to enjoy more of it. We got to try some great pizza as well before leaving. The next day we arrived in Milan and checked in to the Doubletree hotel as we prepared for the convention program and special activities.
There were so many things that we did and experienced that we can’t describe them all here. But one thing we can say is that if you ever get the chance to go to a special or international convention, take it! It was so great being with the local brothers from Italy and their love for the delegates was overwhelming. We were able to share in the ministry, visit local sites, try delicious food and experience a preview of the paradise. Everywhere the delegates went served as a great witness because people could see that we were different in the way we dressed and conducted ourselves.
During one of the evening gatherings, we got to hear a local brother who is an opera singer as well as another one that was a former musician. We also heard many of our songs and some local ones sung by brothers. This was truly touching and we will never forget it! Another highlight was the visit to Lake Como. This is a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and scenic towns such as Bellagio. It was great to walk around and spend time with new friends from all over the world. Another bonus was that Kanicia’s mom and sister were also delegates from France. So we got to meet up with them which was really nice.
After an amazing week in Milan, we headed across the country to a town near the border in the mountains in Italy before continuing on. The town was so beautiful with its peaceful views and quiet country villages. We stayed in a camper park with only a few others around us as we were surrounded by the majestic mountains. We really enjoyed this spot and the following day where we explored the area and made our way towards Slovenia.
Finally, we arrived in Slovenia which is a small central European country that borders Italy, Croatia, and Austria. This is where we will be spending the majority of our time over the next few weeks. We made Lake Bled our home for the first several days which was amazing. If you haven’t heard of Lake Bled it’s a beautiful lake with a natural island in the middle. A quick google search will show you just how beautiful it is. We first saw the lake on Instagram and we knew that we wanted to visit some day. After Lake Bled we headed toward the capital which is Ljubljana where we are currently. Slovenia is an incredibly beautiful country full of nature and friendly people. Everyone here speaks English and we have really enjoyed our time so far. We were able to visit the Slovenia branch office today which was really nice. They are a small family of around 35 and they handle the translation of literature into Slovenian. We look forward to the rest of our time here in Slovenia as well as sharing a few surprises along the way.
At the moment we are really enjoying our vacation and our time traveling. We look forward to the next several weeks as we may decide to explore neighboring countries or stick around to get to know Slovenia better. We hope that this post has been enjoyable to read and that you got some value out of it.
On a side note, we recently did an interview with Quincy Smith from ESL Authority. In the interview, I was able to talk about how we got started teaching English and what it is like living in Spain. It was a lot of fun and maybe we’ll do more in the future. To check out the interview just click here.
Also, some of you may know that Kanicia has her own blog at amigrainelife.com. There she shares info and tips on how to successfully manage migraines. Well, today is very exciting because she just finished writing a new book that will help anyone suffering from migraines to lead a happy and productive life. To check it out just click here. If you know anyone suffering from migraines be sure to share the link with them.
We recently created a Patreon page which allows us to offer unique things to our readers as well as gives you the opportunity to support the blog. We have different things there that are designed to help you work as an English teacher or move abroad. Basically for a monthly pledge as low as $1 you can support this blog and help keep it going if you enjoy the content. Check out our page and video that we made by clicking here.
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. We are planning to make some more updates to the book by adding some additional schools and the price will likely increase. The great thing about the book is that once you get it you will have access to all future updates for free.
If you would rather work for yourself instead of for a company check out the Teach English Course by Jack Askew. We’ve gone through this course ourselves and we recommend it.
Perhaps 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 for almost four years.
If you would like to learn from our experience moving abroad then check out our seven day moving abroad guide. If you want to learn how to create your own blog to share your experiences or hobbies or anything really, Kanicia created a seven-day blogging course that will teach you everything you need to know.
If you enjoyed this post be sure to follow our Instagram accounts at @jwabroad and @kaniciacognard. We post regular updates from our experiences serving abroad and we usually do Instagram stories for videos of what is going on during the day. Turn on post notifications on Instagram for more photos and videos. If you like this blog 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.
We hope you are all doing well and we send our love and greetings from Ljubljana, Slovenia!
Antoine & Kanicia