Au Pair USA, is that for me?
…this is taking me way back in time. 2004 is when I first stepped into an airplane and it was to be an Au Pair in America with AIFS.
I don´t even know where to begin. The whole idea came to my mind when I had walked past an ad a year before that. Ever since, the idea didn’t quite let go of me. I struggled with opinions of friends and family who were not on the same page when it came to my plans and one of my biggest challenges was my boyfriend who did not support the idea.
Hmm I thought to myself. What do I do? For some reason I knew there was something amazing ahead of me that I could not miss out on. So besides everyone elses opinion I applied and eventually found myself in an airplane to NYC.
Arrival in NYC
I remember it, like it was yesterday. This moment when I first stepped onto American ground and looked out the window at the airport…where I saw IKEA. Lol. I must say I instantly felt home. Not because of Ikea, it was just a feeling. I knew I had done the right thing.
The next three days in New York were really exciting. Not just because of the city, but because I met Au Pair girls from all around the world. From Canada, Brazil, Denmark, the Netherlands etc. I had never met people from around the world before. I´m from a very small country town in Germany.
Heading to DC
The day had come and we all went off to go to our Host-families homes. I got on a train to Washington DC where I was picked up by my host dad. It was late in the evening and the kids were already asleep. I looked at the car and thought: “Wow I´ve never seen such a big car in my life!”
A few weeks into my role as an Au Pair I ran into some issues and had to go into rematch. Not exactly the start I had imagined. As an Au Pair in America you only have two weeks to find another family and if you don’t, you have to fly home. That put me under a lot of pressure. I didn’t even know if it was possible. But I did end up finding a new family within a week. A very sleepless week I must add. One thing I knew for sure- I did not come here to leave again just after a few weeks!
New family in Virginia
After my arrival in the new family I ran into struggles again. The boys I was looking after did not exactly welcome me. Another Au Pair was simply not what they were looking for and it just made me feel sad. I was really down and didn’t know whether I could stay for the next 11 months. But I still didn’t want to go home. I said to myself: “I give it 2 months and if things aren’t better I will go home”. Two month later things were going well, I had made new friends and I was part of a cluster (Au Pair group by the area) that was run by the most amazing counsellor anyone could imagine. This women did way more than she had to and I would like to say THANK YOU again!
Over time there were ups and downs, but overall I really made myself home and I am so lucky I can still call this place my home. I am not just saying that for this post. Yes it wasn´t always easy, but sometimes you need to give a new situation time and if you ask your mum she´s gonna tell you that life with you as a child wasn´t always easy either. Kids go through different stages and you just have to be curious and sensitive as to what´s going on. It´s not all black and white.
I love my American family
I have visited my host family three times and each time we talk about when I visit next.
There simply isn’t a better place for a holiday than a second home in another country. This is to my host family in the US: I love you and I am so happy to have you in my life!