Make a Life or Make a Living?

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“La vida es para disfrutarla”

Life is for living. It has been six months now since we have been here. Honestly, it feels like three. You know when it’s dark and depressing and the days never seem to end? I’m just not getting that feeling. January, usually the dreaded never-ending month, that just flew by.

The days are longer

Don’t think of me as stupid here, and don’t go googling how many hours a day are there in Spain, because trust me there is still twenty-four. But, we have so much more time to do things. Do anything. Go for a walk. Go for a coffee. Go to the beach. Go to the pool.

 

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We have time in the day for what we want to do

 

“We’re not going there to work all day every day”

This was our one repeated phrase. We knew we weren’t going to give up jobs in education to go and pick up work that would have us working all day every day in the summer sun. What would be the point? No holidays. No sunshine. No enjoyment. We were so lucky to find two jobs, both doing what we love doing, in the area that we wanted to be.

But what about that bit more?

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that every day I was sat drinking coffee. Or having breakfast. Or having a mini feast in Granier or Jamaica, which by the way are amazing. And the minority of my time was working. People would message me ‘aren’t you ever working?’ or ‘do you have a job?’.

 

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Cappucino and a sandwich from Granier

 

Actually, I have two.

My job is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I’m working as an English teacher in a language academy, and I love it. My days are filled with children’s laughter and a clear love of learning. These kids want to learn English. These kids want to be here. They ask questions and they engage. They have fun but they behave. What a contrast. I work for four hours a day. I sing with them, I dance with them and we complete their activity books. It’s simple, it’s enjoyable. It’s a hobby.

And the other?

I promised I would talk about my second job, so this it it. Here’s where I make my extra income from home. Without joining any of those weird pyramid schemes. Or selling some back street makeup that claims to be super good for your skin but their sellers can’t seem to give you a straight answer of where it came from. Or from blogging or Instagram collabs, which I actually make nothing on! Instead, I teach English on Skype. 

How did it start?

There are plenty of websites out there to get you started, which I can happily point you to if you’re interested. This is the best way to find clients. But, they will take a massive cut. Once you’ve found your clients, that’s when you go solo! Build up your clientele and let them trust you. Once you’ve built up a weekly set of clients and you take them solo, you start to see the difference.

Am I good enough?

As long as you’re a native speaker or at a fluent level, with bags of patience and a motivational push then you’re fine! Nobody wants to learn a language with somebody who makes them feel an idiot. But, if you can log on to your computer, open your camera with a smile, and give them the push then trust me, you’ll be great.

 

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Smile and be friendly!

 

What do I need?

A personality. No really. Your students want to have conversations with you, they want to know you’re interested in them! You’ve got to be able to engage. You have to be patient. You’ve got to be able to push and push and let them see that they can do it. You have to be an active listener. Pick up on errors in a discrete way, nobody wants to have every word corrected for them. And most importantly, a computer or a tablet with a good strong internet connection!

Why do I do it?

We wanted to make a life. Make time to do what we wanted to do. Have the money to do what we want to do. Who wants to work ten hour days, leave out in the dark and come home in the dark? Nobody. I didn’t want to work all year round to afford my week holiday. I didn’t want to work all week to wait for the weekend. I didn’t want to dread Mondays. Now, I don’t.

 

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Monday before work

 

We’re making a life. Not a living.

Until next time,

Lauren xo

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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