1) I learned so much about myself. I moved to The Netherlands to be an Au Pair a few weeks after completing my undergraduate degree. I was a recent grad with no idea of what I wanted to do for a career, so I sought out an adventure. Little did I know that becoming an Au Pair would teach me more about myself than anything ever had before. Kids have a way of pushing your boundaries and I learned to thrive outside of my comfort zone. I learned to be a better communicator. I learned that sometimes you have to let the little things go. I learned that it's okay to ask for help. I learned to be a better leader. I learned to be my own best friend. I learned what makes me happy.
2) I met the best people ever. Seriously. THE. BEST. PEOPLE. EVER. I had the opportunity to meet so many different people from so many different backgrounds. Dutch people are fabulous - bold, honest, funny, and welcoming. The locals made me feel at home and gave me tips and tricks for understanding Dutch culture. I also got to meet tons of other Au Pairs. It is so comforting to spend time with people who chose the same adventure as you. My Au Pair friends understood what I was going through and they quickly became my family. The friends I made as an Au Pair will be my friends for life! I promise - we just had a reunion in Colorado. Last but not least, my host mom and kids were wonderful. My host mom made me feel so comfortable and felt like a big sister. The kids, well, there was nothing better than picking them up from school and seeing their excited little faces. You end up being someone they rely on and it's a truly incredible experience.
3) I got to travel and explore. Working as an Au Pair provides you with quite a bit of downtime. Whether it's exploring around your new city or hopping a plane to a new country, there are so many chances to travel around Europe. From classic sightseeing in Paris to wine tasting in Prague, there is something for everyone and you won't be disappointed. I had the most amazing times traveling around Europe and having a home-base in The Netherlands was perfect. My personal favorite places - Budapest, Slovenia, and Italy.
4) I realized how fortunate I am to have a home worth missing. Before being an Au Pair, the longest I had gone without seeing my family was a few weeks at most. I went 348 days (yes, I counted) without seeing my family and it taught me just how grateful I should be to have such an incredible support system. Living abroad gave me the space to miss my family and to let my relationships grow. It taught me how to stay in touch and how to show people I loved them even though I was thousands of miles away. It also made my homecoming super exciting - I couldn't wait to get off that airplane and give my family a hug!y #1 travel tip - travel to eat! It doesn't matter if you missed your train or it rained all day, ending the day with a delicious meal makes it worth it.
Being an Au Pair in The Netherlands with GeoVisions was absolutely amazing. While sometimes challenging, all in all it was an experience of a lifetime.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity and I recommend it to anybody looking for a life changing adventure!