Hello! Hola! Hallo! Salut! Ciao! GATCHOKA… (Okay, I just made up the last one)
I can’t remember how many times I have told you, that my return from the USA was very difficult compared to Australia. I guess it’s time to reveal, to you, why
(Sounds like a commercial) And since I have a habit to talk way too much, I will try and get straight to the point. 1.. 2.3… LET’S GO!
1) MAKE A WISH BACK HOME LIST
First. You may not realize it, but during the last few weeks as an au pair, you’re not in reality anymore. You’re so caught up in your emotions that you can’t think rationally and the goal is to avoid that.
You need to have no regrets, so take a pen and paper; analyze every little thing you want to do before your return back home. It can be basic things like taking pictures of the city you’re living in, go to the NAVY BALL (American Prom) or take a road trip somewhere new. You better realize all your dreams! Or I’ll come back and I’ll haunt you forever.
Make a TO DO list
You also need to prepare for your return. Don’t wait until the last minute to check how many suitcases you’ll need for your belongings. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your family and friends gifts, and don’t wait to be back home to work on your resume. Do all theses things beforehand and I promise it will help you to relax.
The goal here is to stay connected to reality. I know that the last month is a weird one and we handle it in different ways. Some are so excited that they make a Disney movie of their return x10000.
For others, it’s just a horror movie with Jigsaw as the main character (Have you seen the last Saw movie btw?) Anyway something that will help you is to STAY BUSY.
Work on your resume, sort out your clothes
(If you gain weight like I did, it won’t be too hard), ask your family to buy you a new SIM card for your return and stuff like that. Doing all those things helped me, especially when I was back home. You have no idea how good it felt to have a working phone the first day I came back.
Change your routine.
Don’t wait until your return to adapt yourself. When you go back people don’t realize how traumatizing it can be.
The day before, you were in USA with your host family and friends and today, you’re back home with old friends and a completely different state of mind. So yeah, it can be scary. To be honest, I started one month before so my transition was easier. When you’re an au pair usually your eating habits change for the worst and your days are really lazy. Why wait the last day to start a diet, start now!
Schedule your two first weeks at home.
It’s very important. What helped me the most, was the way I handled my transition. I tried to make sure my schedule would be the same as the one in Australia to not feel depressed. You need to know that I had a 24 hour flight and still, the day after, I got back to Paris, I woke up at 6AM, worked out, worked on a video (Back home after one year abroad) etc. I acted as if I was still in Australia. My eyes were watery from time to time during the day but I pushed the painful memory to the back of my head.
The third day, I spent the morning sending out lots of resumes. In the afternoon I saw my friends and the day after, I already had some job interviews lined up. I think that the best moment to have job interviews is as quick as possible because you still have a certain energy from abroad and a recruiter can sense that.
Don’t freak out. Breathe in and breath out. ACCEPT IT!
You’re going to be confused.
You’ll want to go back one day, want to discover a new country the second day and stay and settle down the third and it’s totally understandable.
I don’t want to hear you saying; I’m lost, I’m a loser, I’m crazy, I don’t know what I want etc.
I’ll tell you something, you are just a human being that has lived abroad for a long period. You just arrived back home without knowing how to handle the return so it’s normal to feel that way. Please don’t be too hard on yourself.
Tell me about your current situation in the comment section, if you
are an actual au pair when are you going back home? And if you are a
former au pair how did you handle your return back home?