Most people who I tell I am going to be an au pair to are really excited for me. And then come the questions; How come you want to be an au pair? Why do you want to go to America? What do your family think? Why now? Etc…. etc…..
I have wanted to be an au pair for some time now but hey, life happens. At the end of my high school I had to go straight to college because of a new government rule which otherwise meant that I would not receive financial aid 😱 So no gap year for me. After college I was offered a job through an internship which I took. Even though I love this job and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had, in the back of my mind I still had this voice saying ‘what about the au pair thing’. So I decided now or never. I will be working my whole life I can only do the au pair experience now (well until i’m 27… but i’d rather do it now).
How come you want to be an au pair?
Honestly, it sounds like SO MUCH FUN! Being in a different country and looking after kids. My two biggest passions combined. I have known from a very very very young age that I wanted to work with children later on in life. Whether it’s taking care of them or teaching them or helping them in whatever which way. I would be working with children.
Then comes the travel. Growing up I have lived in three countries, Belgium (where I was born), England and The Netherlands. It made me very aware of different lifestyles and ways of living. Through this experience I have always wanted to broaden my horizons even further and live somewhere outside of Europe. I have also been very fortunate to be able to travel a lot already. Having visited about 30 different countries in four continents, I have seen my fair share of the world. I love the different cultures and the way of life.
Me in the Sahara Desert in Morocco –>
So the ability to look after children in a new country and live there for at least a year was like music to my ears.
Why do you want to go to America?
I first visited America when I was 4 years old with my parents and my aunt. We went to Florida (and obviously visited Disney world duuhhh). Over the years I have been lucky to visit 5 more times, 4 other times to Florida and the other to New York/ New Jersey with some small trips to other states thrown in the mix. During my visits I fell in love with the country and the way of life. It sounds strange but even grocery shopping is a fun day out for me there. I am not sure what age I was when I decided I wanted to spend some time in America, probably somewhere in my teenage years. When I realised I could do my au pair year in America I didn’t even look at other countries, I knew where I was going.
What does your family think?
Truthfully, I think my parents expected that sooner or later I would leave the country for a certain period of time. I have always stated my wish to live somewhere else so they were just waiting for me to tell them where I was going and when. Obviously they will miss me (I hope) and I will miss them. But with all the technology we have now and with flights being relatively cheap I am sure we will make it through. We also have very good family friends living in Florida which they try to visit as often as they can so I am sure they will continue the journey to visit me at some point.
I also think it’s a good challenge being away from home and your support system for a period of time. To really immerse in a new culture. To make new friends. To step outside your comfort zone. A good time to really find out what you are capable of and to find new strengths within.