I decided to spend 2015 as an au pair with Au Pair in America in hopes of concluding what I wanted to do/ study/ what direction I see my life going. It was quite the experience…
I’m not one to sugar coat things…being an au pair can feel like one of the worst jobs in the world and makes you want to hop onto the next available mode of transport to make your grand escape. At the same time though, it is also an extremely fun and rewarding job and makes you feel appreciated.
When people ask me whether or not I would recommend being an au pair it’s hard to give them an answer. It has a lot of factors to take into consideration. I was lucky enough to work for three different families in my year which allowed me to see more with regards to traveling. I think my advice is this… don’t let where you stay be your deciding factor. You might want to choose a family according to their address but the way I see it, you will be spending more time with the family than you will traveling and exploring the area. I would much rather work for a kind, gracious family than live in a cool area. You spend most of your time with those people.
What’s nice about being an au pair is that you do get to travel quite a bit. If you make an effort, you can really see a lot of America! One huge perk is that you stay in a house that someone else is paying for and eating food that someone else is paying for. This leaves you with about $200 per week to splurge on entertainment etc. I saved as much of that money as I could so that I could travel whenever something exciting came up.
The traveling in America is so fantastic because you have a vast expanse of land to explore.It will be quite hard to see it all but you can definitely make a dent if you use your money wisely! One of the things that bothered me when I was abroad was how many Americans hadn’t ever left their state. There will always be people who do make an effort to travel and to really see their country but the majority had barely ventured out. I thought about it a lot and I’ve concluded that it’s a mindset locals have. If you live in that country, then you assume that you have your entire lifetime to eventually get there and see all the places that people rave about. The sad thing is that a lot of those people reach the end of their life not having seen or done what they had intended. I believe that’s the mindset of most people. I don’t want to be one of those people, nor do I intend on leaving things for better timing or better company.
I will be consistently saving so that I have the resources to travel, be it South Africa or be it international. The right time rarely comes around. Most of the time not everyone can join you. I think it’s about enjoying the experience regardless of the time or the people.Most of the time, I think the results pleasantly surprise us.
In the future I would love to share more about my favourite city, Durban, as well as introducing you to a few other cities that I have had the privilege of exploring.
Thanks for listening.