Welcome to the Au Pair Diaries…

Prologue…

So, I have a new job, which I’m really excited about and want to share the journey with my friends and family through this blog.

Welcome to ‘The Prologue’ I guess… the bit before I go!

Whilst I’m sure some of you will already know what being an Au Pair is all about, for those that don’t, here it is….

What is it?

An au pair is someone who travels to a foreign country for a defined period of time to live with a host family. The au pair is considered as a full member of the family during the temporary period of the au pair stay. As such, he or she supports the family with childcare and housework.  In return, the host family provides free board and lodging, as well as some money.
Being an Au Pair is looking after someone’s home and/or children. It depends what kind of family you match up with but this could look like being apart of their family or it could be that you’re separate and help out…

– AuPairWorld.com

Why?

I’ve always wanted to travel. I’ve always been curious for the different lifestyles I could be living but I also know that I’m not one who could only travel for a year. I know I would get bored and restless and I’m also not in the financial position to do that. I like being busy and feeling a sense of purpose.I like having some kind of stable base to come and go from, this is the perfect mix of travel and having a base with a job that pays and helps give me a direction every day. This experience will allow me to fully immerse myself in a different culture and in a different language whilst meeting new people as well as it being a massive challenge for my personal growth and development.

How?

So this is just my experience of how I found my host family, many others may have different experiences.

I had the thought in the middle of a lecture and immediately joined Aupairworld.com, which was a site I’ve dipped in and out of for a few years. I also made an account with Aupair.com.

After looking through some requirements for visas to live and work outside the UK, for now, I decided it would be more realistic and easier for me to stay in Europe. This was mainly a financial decision as well as a timing one but if you can afford it, go wherever you’d like!

I made a profile on both websites (Name, age, experience, country of origin and where you’re currently living, photos ect…) and began to match with families and receive messages from them.

I found it difficult to look at families profiles and try and imagine life with them just by reading a profile, especially when it’s from 6 months to a year. Where they live, the hours they want you to work, what the pay would be like, whether they are a family that want you to join in as much or as little as you want, whether it’s a live in or out situation, whether you have to drive or not… so many questions…

I spoke to a few families before a family came along that got my attention.

They messaged me with a little summary of who they were and what they were looking for and we exchanged a few messages back and forth. Within a couple of days we had exchanged emails and within a week of our first contact I had spoken to both parents over the phone in a casual interview (little bit about each other and why you want them to be your host family, why you want to be an au pair ect…) and it felt like a good fit for all of us, so we decided to proceed.

By the end of the same month I had signed a contract with the family.

How do I feel?

I’m nervous/excited. I haven’t lived properly away from my family home (as in, another city), especially not out of my home country before and I know I’m going to miss things, such as birthday’s but I’m excited to live where my host family live, experience the culture and meet new people.

I’m excited to learn a new language and meet the children I’ll be looking after. I’m excited to develop and grow as a person, especially independently and come back different in some way. I am excited to take what I like from my life now and implement it to over there and I’m excited to take what I like about the life I have over there and bring it back to my normal, every day life here (if that is what I choose to do).

I’m nervous to drive in a different country. I’m nervous about feeling lonely and being on my own, although the quarantine time has helped a bit with that. I know that my family and friends will only be a phone call or a Facetime away.

I’m excited to see where this experience leads me but, as I’m writing this in March 2020, it feels like the right thing to do.

What am I expecting?

I’m expecting to work hard, to be tired and to feel welcome by the family.
I’m expecting to develop a new daily routine (you never know, I could actually be a morning person).
I’m expecting to have some free time and use it to reflect on my time there whilst hopefully put my new language to good practice.
I’m expecting to be more confident with driving after being there for a while.
I want to take up hiking, with or without my host family and generally be more active.
I want to find things that make me happy that I maybe wouldn’t expect.
I’m expecting to travel to places when I can, maybe stumble upon them whilst going somewhere else.

If you would like to follow along with my journey, I’ll be updating my social media with my adventures and the links to these are below;
My Instagram
My Facebook Page

 

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