The Road to Au-Pairing

Written by  February 23, 2014

There are road bumps on the way to becoming an overseas nanny.

I toyed around with the idea of being an au pair for a while. I weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided that I wanted to give it a try.

After signing up on an au pair website and finding the quote “perfect family,” I immediately started to daydream about the glamorous situations that were about to present themselves. Let me tell you, finishing your last semester of Senior year in college, taking finals, writing your thesis, babysitting four days a week and almost having a small mental collapse while also looking for a host family abroad is not easy.

Did I find the best family for me? Will this be the greatest year ever? Yes. It’s all worth it.

I packed up as many belongings as I could and got on my flight to my new adventure. I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach right away because my grandfather had fallen ill four days before I left the country. Here we go.

The first thing that went wrong was that I got lost driving to their house. Road bump number one. I was late, it was about 95 degrees out and I was exhausted. Road bump number two.  When I finally did get to their house I walked around for about 20 minutes because I couldn’t figure out how to get past their gate.

Throughout the next two weeks everything that felt like it would go wrong did. I left my windows open in my room when I wasn’t supposed to, I was on a course of antibiotics when I first got there so I felt horrible, I never was hungry when they were and vice versa. Everything just felt like a disaster. Despite all of this and feeling a bit hopeless, I made the best of everything. Instead of staying in my room when I had free time and overthinking I went out and explored, discovered and got through it all.

What I’m getting at here in these few short paragraphs is that you should always expect road bumps in your plans. It’s easier to conquer them if you accept them and embrace them. My au pair experience after those few road bumps was an experience I will never forget. Life isn’t perfect and who would want it to be?

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Emily Fritz

Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Emily Fritz is a International Studies graduate of Manhattan College, who is continuing her life as an au pair in Teisendorf, Germany. She's also a running enthusiast, music lover, language nerd and culture buff. Her dream is to work for an NGO such as Greenpeace one day.

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