You have found you’re family, applied for your visa, and are ready to book you’re flight. It’s easy to do that – just make sure you’ve confirmed with you’re family whether or not they are going to pick you up from the airport! Hopefully they are a good enough family who will understand that you may have 3 bags and not enough hands to navigate the public transit system of a new city after minimal sleep on a long haul flight across the world!
I remember when I first arrived in Rome after my long flight across the Atlantic. I had no sleep, was overly hot, and my flight was delayed by 2 hours which meant that my au pair family had been waiting for me in the airport for two extra hours because I couldn’t contact them to tell them otherwise. I was overjoyed to see my host mom and boy and immediately dove in to give them a big hug. My host mom was taken back! She seemed unsure whether to hug me or not. Thankfully she did but I then remembered that in Italy, they don’t hug. In fact, I later learned that hugging is very rare in Italy and definitely doesn’t happen between strangers! The proper thing that I should have done was kiss her on each cheek, first to my right, then my left.
Adjusting in Italy at the beginning was difficult. Becoming an au pair abroad it not an easy thing! I was lucky enough to have my own private apartment a couple blocks away from the family so that I was able to have my own space when I needed it. Others aren’t so lucky. Children banging on the doors, having tantrums, bursting into your room, going through your things…time off isn’t really time off.
But slowly you get used to it all! I promise!
It’s important to just take each day at a time. Try to get enough sleep. When the children aren’t with you, explore the city you’re living in! You moved there for a reason so take some time to enjoy it!
Don’t be afraid to cry, freak out, or feel like you made a big mistake. That is normal! Things will get better!
My next post will be about making friends abroad. Friends help and make being an au pair worth it! Stay tuned!!