At home, I am an only child of a small family and unfortunately, I haven’t had many opportunities to travel, so becoming an Au Pair in France seemed to solve both issues: getting to experience a new family’s culture while getting to explore!
Fortunately, I was matched with a very friendly and welcoming family of seven people, who (for the most part) can speak good English. There are five children, however I only look after the youngest boy, Adrien, who is 7 years old. He is a playful and energetic boy who definitely keeps me busy learning all of his board games and activities to play every day.
My host family lives in Paris most of the year where they work and go to school, but they also have a summer home in the south of France, where I have spent most of my time as an Au Pair. A typical day for Adrien and me is never quite routine, as long as we spend an hour a day working on English homework and a few more hours playing. Sometimes we do the homework in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon. The rest of the day we spend swimming in their pool and playing games (especially Legos and Star Wars games!). Our days are very relaxed.
Living with this family has provided me with many opportunities to travel. I spent the first week at their home in Paris where their two daughters kindly brought me around Paris to see the beautiful city. The family has also brought me with them to different cities throughout Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (a province in the south of France, along the French Riviera) including Cannes and Nice. I also spent two weeks living in Avignon, at the home of Adrien’s grandma. Lastly, while the family took a 10 day vacation on their holidays, they generously allowed me to stay in France at their summer home.
During this time, I chose to travel! I spent 10 days in Italy, traveling to Milan, Venice, and Florence. I am so grateful for the travel opportunities I have embarked upon and the different cultures I have experienced.
I had mixed emotions about traveling alone. Even though I am sometimes more of an introvert and love doing things alone, it was still scary to travel to another country. I came to France with the simple goal of experiencing as much as I can. From the language to meeting new people, and even the food! I wanted to soak up as much culture as I could.
My family and friends were all very supportive, considering it all happened very fast! I met the family on Skype and two weeks later I was packing up to leave Canada. Becoming an Au Pair has taught me so many valuable things. I learned it is good to jump out of your comfort zone because even though it might seem scary, it is worth it. Also, from now on I will welcome challenges more than I used to. Facing challenges is not always a bad thing. For example, I came here knowing barely any French and there were times I was out in public trying to speak to someone and got lost on words. Even though I was only in France for a few months, I learned something with every challenge I faced.
For anyone considering becoming an Au Pair, I would say go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If given the chance, who wouldn’t want to explore a new culture? My journey is almost at an end and I will be heading back to Canada in a week where I will be catching up with family and friends, but I am so glad I took this opportunity and will never forget the experience.