Living your life as au pair in America is for everyone different. For some people it is amazing and for others it is much harder. If you’re considering of becoming an au pair you might want to know how it is to be an au pair. Thats why I decided to interview au pairs and ask them about their experience. Let’s kick this off with myself, Nory. Au pair in Lynnwood, Washington who is a few months away from extending with an other family in Connecticut.
So, most of you know who I am. Nory, 21 years old girl form The Netherlands, writes a little blog about her life and being an au pair. Because yeah, thats who I am too. I come from a little village/town thingy (never know what to call it) and I studied journalism for two year. In due of personal reasons I decided to take a gap year from my studie and become an au pair. Leave everything behind and on hold, live a different life for one or two years and then go back home with a bright/open mind.
Why did you became an au pair?
I always wanted to go to America. First I wanted to go to a high school but my parents didn’t let me go. So then in 2017 I decided that I still wanted to go to America and I found an other way, being an au pair. I love to work with kids and it gives me a great opportunity to see how Americans live.
I had a pretty busy life in The Netherlands. I went to school, worked in the weekends and saw my friends once in a while. I always did everything the way it was suppose to be. Finish one school after an other, work and be happy during your free time. It was hard for me to make the decision to break the circle, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
What do you like most about your host family?
What I like most about my kids is the unconditional love they give me. The spontaneous hugs and kisses, the ‘I love you Nory’ and the proud faces they have when they learn something new.
My host mom is like one of the most amazing home cooks I’ve ever met. She has so many cookbooks and she is so open for trying new things. We have so many different dinners every week and in the weekend when she doesn’t have to work then she is in the kitchen, making something delicious. It can be home made pho, tuna noodle casserole, black bean soup, steak and much much more.
What is the biggest struggle you’ve had so far?
There are the arguments you have with your hostfamily about things. I made a big mistake once or twice but I always learned from it. I think the biggest struggle I’ve had so far , and this is going to sound so cheesy, is the struggle with myself. I was always the little sister or daughter of. I was never just Nory. Considered as a real adult without any sad background. In the beginning as an au pair I thought that it was unfair if people did this or that to me. But soon I realized that it is because they don’t see me as a kid, but more as an equal adult.
It took me a long time before I realized that and it helped me grow so much since then. I can’t say I’m a real adult now because I don’t feel like one. and I can’t say I don’t have struggles with myself because I do. But every day I learn from it and it makes me stronger. Is someone already gagging? Because I almost am hahaha.
What is your favorite part of America?
The drive-thru’s. For almost everything is a drive-thru. You have a description for your medicine? Go to the drive-thru. Want to eat something? Go to the drive-thru. Want to get money from the bank? Drive-thru. It makes things a lot easier but also people so much more lazy.
And what are you still not used too?
The tax. Oh my god, the tax is horrible. I’m used to see a prise in front of a product and then pay that amount at the check out. But no, here they don’t include the tax so when something is 1 dollar it magically turns into 1 dollar and ten cents. These days I automatically add a few dollars to the price I see. I don’t understand why they don’t include the tax in the price.
What was your favorite trip?
I traveled a lot in my first year but I can say the most special trip I made was going to Los Angeles with my brother. We went for four days, saw the Hollywood sign, went to a tv show with James Cordon, saw Los Angeles and went to the universal studios. I still can’t believe that we really did this but it was so cool. I would definitely do it again if I have the money for it hahaha.
Which app is fundamental for an au pair?
There are so many apps you can use. I love to use ‘Hopper’ for my travels. Hopper is an app that predicts the price for flights and can tell you if you should wait to book the tickets or not. It can save you a lot of money when you use it and then you can use that money for other things like your airbnb or hostel. My other big friend as an au pair is Pinterest because my kids love to do arts and crafts. I love to do those too but I am not that creative with inventing things to make so thats when I ask for help on Pinterest.
What are you going to do when you get back home?
I’m not planning to go home yet, but when I do I will finish my studie to become a journalist and hopefully in the future I’ll inform all the people in The Netherlands about the things that are happening in my country at that moment.
What is your ultimate tip for future and current au pairs?
Don’t be afraid and talk with people from other countries. It’s very easy and save to walk to people who speak your language, but that is not why you’re here. I can’t remember how many times I told people that they didn’t flew 8 hours to the other side of the world to talk their own language. It’s much cheaper to stay home and speak your language, you’re here to learn English. Sounds hard but it is true hahaha.
Find Nory on Instagram: @norystory