As an Au Pair in New Zealand, you learn something new every holiday.
Greetings! My name is Lydia Susong and I am an au pair in New Zealand with GeoVisions. I'm originally from Florida. But for the past few months I have been living with my host family in Auckland, New Zealand. I watch two children, Bailey who is five, and Greer who is three years old. Basically, that's what being an au pair abroad is all about.
This year, since I work in New Zealand, I was able to celebrate a real, traditional Kiwi Christmas. (Kiwi is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand, as well as being a relatively common self-reference.)
As an au pair abroad with GeoVisions, I could have spent Christmas with my host family, but they went out of town. So I decided to spend the holidays with my best friend and her host family, which was perfectly fine with my host family. (My friend is also an au pair in New Zealand and she's also from Florida. Her host mom is from New Zealand, but her host dad is from South Africa. We had a wonderful diversity of traditions in the home.
Throughout the Christmas holiday, I enjoyed celebrating new traditions—what a difference from the Florida Christmas I was used to! For example, instead of just leaving cookies for Santa, they also left him a beer! We also had a tasty barbecue for Christmas dinner. The weather was perfectly warm and breezy- no white Christmas here.
In New Zealand, they also celebrate a holiday on December 26th. It’s called Boxing Day, which is really just another day to relax and spend more time with family. They were all very loving and welcoming. I felt completely comfortable, and I loved everything about my first Kiwi Christmas.
What I did most of the time on my holiday was travel. My best friend and I traveled though out the whole North Island of New Zealand.
I think New Zealand has to be the most beautiful place on Earth.
Everything is breathtaking. All the Kiwis say the South Island is even more stunning. I got to travel to many of the Lord of the Rings locations, including Hobbiton. I am a huge fan and thought it was so amazing. I got to see the incredible Lady Knox Geyser. The trees in the Redwood Forest were so massive. Many are over 100 years old. I parasailed on the biggest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo. I also got to go black water rafting, rafting inside a cave in the Waitomo Caves, which has many glow worms. It was all so crazy and incredible. Hiking was almost a daily thing.
My New Year was spent in the capital, Wellington, with my best friend. This country is just full of such natural beauty. My Christmas holiday has been the most exciting Christmas of my life and I wouldn't change a second of it. I'd have never experienced anything like this if I hadn't decided to be an au pair in New Zealand.