6 Things I Experienced Au Pairing in the USA
No one ever told you it would be easy. They all told you it's gonna be worth it. And it's true. Not a lot of people decide to pack everything they have and go to live acros the world. It takes a lot of courage and dedication to make that desicion. My name is Tjaša, I am Slovenian and I have been living in Austin, Texas as an au pair for three months now.
I decided to become an aupair a year ago, I was finishing my studies and was eager to travel and this opportunity looks a great experience to live abroad and get paid.
Working as an pair isn't all easy though, you will enjoy good and bad days especially when first arriving. So, what is it really like to work as an au pair in the United States? In this article I'm going to share six things that I have experienced so far during my 3 months in Texas.
1. Living the American Dream
Living and working in the USA is something completly different than just visiting a new country or traveling. You get to experience traditions, vibes, culture, food, holidays, politics and sport. A day in a normal life of an american family can sometimes be hectic and as an au pair you can guarantee you are always busy. You will probably see that there are some things that are different and some things that are the same. We all want to be loved, and feel respected, and we all have good and bad days. One good thing about living in USA in also connecting with the local community and getting to feel the multicultural society that America offers.
2. Meeting New People
Meeting new people from all over the world, making new friends, and connections, was always my big plan for this year abroad. You never know. Maybe someone that you met here, will become your new best friend, partner, husband or boss. So I am doing as much as I can to meet more and more people everyday, and that even encourage me to try some things I have always wanted to try.
3. Being Out of Your Comfort Zone
I feel out of my comfort zone all the time everywhere I go. I can't say that's a bad thing, because I like challenges, but sometimes and because of it I miss home. Feeling comfortable never brings a new change so doing the opposite and traveling to the other side of the world challenges you to do things that you wouldn't normaly do. And if you feel embarrassed because of something you did/didn't do, just remember you are a foreigner in another country. Nobody cares.
4. Culture Shock
At first I was scared of everything. Not in a bad sense of the world, but something small can seem so big sometimes. Driving the car, doing the groceries and asking for directions. It's called cultural shock and it is a normal proces. Keep on trying and pushing, it will get better.
5. Everything is Different
Again not in a bad sense of the world, but there are some mayor differences from living at home or living abroad. There are some things that anoyed me at first, such as road signs, language obsticales (I can't talk in English as fast as I can talk in Slovenian!) and food.. You need to be flexible, open minded and just let it pass. After a while, you will feel like a real American and start to enjoy your new life.
Before I left Slovenia, homesickness was only a word for me. To miss someone/something. But now, homesickess is a feeling for me. A craving. I think about home everyday, little things like drinking coffee with my friends, at our favorite spot. The smell of my house. The laugh of my boyfriend. Hearing my cat everytime I enter the house. Those kind of things. Luckily when I arrived I met new friends, found some new favorite spots and did some interesting and fun activities that help me deal with being away from home.
I have now started to feel comfortable in my new surroundings, and have realised you can feel at home in more than one place.
By Tjaša Kovač