Southbank in Brisbane

Being in a foreign country over 15,000 kilometers from home is not always easy, either emotionally or psychologically.

When I landed in Brisbane, everything went perfectly, so much so that the backlash didn’t hit me right away.

The people I met, the visits I made and the fact that I wasn’t alone played an important role in my well-being.

The Decision

But here I was, in my hostel room, wondering how I could stay a whole year in this country I already loved, without having much money.

At that very moment, I felt like my whole world was collapsing and I doubted myself once again, convinced that I had made a huge mistake.

I’ll always remember it because that’s when I learned what homesickness meant. And I’m not going to lie to you, since then, it always strikes me during the first week of my trips, especially when I’m away for a long period of time.

But one thing has changed: it’s no longer homesickness, just a change of scenery and fear of the unknown.

These feelings don’t disappear, I still carry them with me at the start of my trips, and I think that’s a good thing. It proves that the thrill and excitement of adventure is still there.

Brisbane by night

Let’s get back to the heart of the story.

This is where I made the decision to try the au pair position.

For me, the idea was simple. It would allow me to live close to the locals, learn the culture and not be alone during the first part of my trip.

The Experience

Working as an Au Pair in Australia

Without further ado, let’s dive into the experience of an Au Pair.

Personally, I was very lucky as I was hired by a French-Australian family, which enabled me to be versatile. I was able to practice my English and at the same time teach French to the girls in my care.

The fact that they were both young (under 5) proved to be a lot of work. I was always with the younger ones, so my days were always full and never boring.

But looking after young children when you’re only 22 and living in a foreign country can sometimes be difficult.

If you don’t know how children work or are unfamiliar with babysitting, let me give you a quick course.

This is what I’ve learned from my previous experiences and this one was no exception.

There will usually be a period of adjustment on the part of the au pair or babysitter and the children, which is perfectly normal since you don’t know each other. So, when you find yourself alone with the children on the first day, they’re feeling their way around.

And I’d say, in my case, they really put me to the test, i.e. they were boisterous and did things they wouldn’t do in front of their parents.

Fortunately for me, this wasn’t my first experience with children and I was expecting it. That’s not to say it was easy, far from it, but I stood my ground and won them over in the end. From then on, everything went well, the family involved me in many activities, I usually had my weekends to explore the area and I was able to meet other au-pairs.

But people who know me will tell you that routine isn’t for me.

Despite the good times and, I remember now, the many laughs, the thing I wanted most was to be free again.

So I decided to hit the road again and discover another part of Australia.

My Conclusion

Sunset while being an Au Pair in Australia

What I would say about this experience is that it made me grow a lot.

Being an Au Pair is also a good way to adapt to a new country, especially if you’re afraid of being alone and lost. I’ve met a lot of people who started out that way, and it gave them the confidence to continue their journey as I did.

However, looking after children is not an easy task, and all my respect goes to the parents and people who have made it their life’s work. But it’s also rewarding to see children grow up and discover life.

Overall, I think it was the right decision for me. It allowed me to get my bearings in this foreign country and see what life in Australia was like for its people.

Now, if I’m honest, I’ll tell you that it was a unique experience for me. Although it was enjoyable at the time, I don’t think this type of work suits me.

I don’t like goodbyes in general, and in the end I had to leave the family.
Seeing the children cry because they’ve got used to you and don’t understand why you’re leaving them behind was really heartbreaking.

But I hold those memories close to my heart and remember that it was one of the steps that led me to where I am today.

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