I’ve been in the States for three weeks. And oh boy, it’s been three very emotional weeks. It may sound like a cliché, but truly the best way to describe it, is to say that it has been a roller coaster ride. There has been ups and there has been downs. When the downs hit me, I feel like nothing is right. Like moving across the globe to live with a new family was the worst decision I ever made. But then I realize that there has been more ups than downs and suddenly I feel a little bit better. The first night at the training school, I was so ready to go home. It was after midnight before we arrived, everyone in my room was asleep when I came in, the top bunk was horrible and there was no air conditioning in the room – only two lousy fans. But I made it through the first night and the next morning everything looked a bit brighter.
It’s okay to miss your family and friends back home – I surely do. It’s weird that I don’t have my best friend just across the street and it’s weird that it’s someone else’s mom who is sleeping in the bedroom next to mine. But I look at this year abroad as an au pair as a really big opportunity for me. First of all, it’s a great way to experience a new culture. Everything here is so different – the food, the traffic, the language, the state of mind. I think that the list might be endless. Second, I feel lucky that I get to meet new people from all over the world. A family has let me into their house and I’m now going to be a part of their family. And then I get to spend a lot of time with other au pairs from so many different countries – and we all have one thing in common. We want to explore the world. But the most important opportunity I get, while being here, is the opportunity to get a chance to get to know myself better. I can figure out who I am and what I wanna do with my life. I can experience new sides of myself that I maybe didn’t even know I had.
Yes, moving to a new country to live with a new family is overwhelming. I have been crying in my room as I tried to take in all of the new impressions I get everyday. I have been falling asleep before 9 pm because all of those new impressions make me so exhausted. But I’m smiling. I have a feeling that this is going to be a good year with many amazing experiences. Whenever I’m having a hard time – even though I have only been here for two weeks – I think about all the things I still have to experience. I look at my bucket list and realize that I can’t leave. It would be like leaving a dream behind – a really good one.
So when I have those bad days I keep myself busy. I play with my host kids even though I’m not working, I go out and meet new people – and I message friends and family back home. They got my back and they are looking out for me. And that’s all I really need to know.