"For anyone thinking about being an Au Pair, but is unsure- all I can say is do it! The worst thing that can happen is you have an absolutely amazing time in a new country, meeting loads of new friends and having amazing experiences getting to see new places."
I decided to look at being an Au Pair this summer for a few reasons. However, getting to live in a foreign country, living the local lifestyle and getting to escape from the Scottish weather are among the top. I originally looked at going to France, but this wasn't possible for a few reasons and I was informed that a family in Italy was interested in me. I thought, why not?
Before concluding that I would commit to GeoVisions, I had done my homework and had looked at various companies, but GeoVisons just seemed to work: the layout of their website, speediness of replies, friendliness of staff - I decided that GeoVisons was the way to go.
I'm currently living in a small town north of Pisa called Lido di Camaiore with a family of three - Sandra, Francesco and Gherardo.
Gherardo is a typical 5 year old: very energetic, enthusiastic and for the most part, quite well behaved. Sandra and Francesco are absolutely lovely, anyone who opens up their home to a stranger and let's them live as a part of their family is.
My typical day is quite standard. In the morning when I wake up, it's usually just Gherardo and myself - he acts as my alarm clock so I don't need to wake up until he does which varies from 8am-10:30am (however today it was a very late 11:50!!). We eat breakfast, get ready, hop on the bike and then head to the beach and remain there until lunch time. By then, either Sandra or Francesco have arrived home from work and will take care of Gherardo in the late afternoon until dinner, after a siesta of course.
I came to Italy with one fairly vague goal: to simply make the most of the opportunities that arise whilst being here in whatever way they present themselves; whether that's making new friends, learning about the culture, visiting new places etc. To date, I've visited Lucca, Siena, Cinque Terre, Pisa and Florence (technically twice - an error with trains left me stranded here for a night one weekend! Was a nice wee adventure).
All of these places are absolutely stunning and I would recommend every one of them. I have three weekends left and I intend on visiting Venice and Rome, and will most likely spend my last weekend relaxing at the beach with my host family.
I've done some traveling on my own before, but only around the UK where everyone speaks English. So, to some extent I was nervous to be out and about on my own in a foreign land, but there is a great sense of freedom about it! In my first week here, I had the fortune to be in the same region as a friend from the States who I met in Scotland last year who was traveling through Italy with her friend.
We arranged to meet in Pisa and spent the day and had dinner, too. I also had the chance to meet with another tutor who was living in Lucca which was only 20 minutes on the train from where I was. He showed me around Lucca and we had dinner. It was certainly one of my more interesting days! It's absolutely amazing to be able to meet all these people and make friends from all over the world. I've also got to meet various family members, some of whom are my age and we've had some good conversations (their English was very very good!). All of my friends and family are very jealous of all these amazing places I'm getting to see this summer and all of the experiences that I'm having - but it is hard work too!
When I return back to Scotland in a few weeks, I have about a month before I head back to university so will use this time to catch up with all of my friends and family. And I'll definitely be staying in contact with my host family.
For anyone thinking about being an au pair, but is unsure- all I can say is do it! The worst thing that can happen is you have an absolutely amazing time in a new country, meeting loads of new friends and having amazing experiences getting to see new places.
Although there are some financial commitments, they are very worth it; especially if you are lucky enough to have such a generous and welcoming host family as I do!