Our Au Pair Sharie is in the middle of the preparations for her very first Au Pair stay in Mexico! She is going to provide us with her experiences in her host country during the next six months. Start of the series: Au Pair preparation - how to plan your Au Pair stay abroad?
Are you thinking about au pairing abroad
or are you just curious about how other Au Pairs deal with their preparation
? Then you’ve come to the right place, because I’m going to share my experience with you.
I’m Sharie, 18 years old from Germany and I would say that my life is very unusual. With 5 siblings and a single mother, I’m often the one who looks after the three youngest. Jeremy is 8, Lisette 11 and Gino is 13 years old. They are getting more and more independent and I see their development almost with maternal pride. They used to be in foster care and faced a really tough time. Dealing with kids who can be a bit difficult is therefore not new to me. But my daily support to my family is coming to an end now, since I’m going to fly to Mexico in January, to Cuernavaca to be precise, in order to take care of 2-year old triplets. That’s going to be fun, right?
I’m doing a lot during my free time. My routine is to help out my Mom in our everyday life, but I also have my personal time for music, sports, creative writing and reading. I won’t lose sight of that during my Au Pair stay
. I’ve already asked my Host Family if there is a gym nearby since I want to stay fit
but also meet new people there.
My idea is to bring my hobbies with me on my journey, so that I always have a piece of home with me. I won’t die from homesickness, even if I will sometimes miss home.
What to pack as an Au Pair?
The most important thing is packing! I would recommend to have a place in your room where you can gather the things you want to bring with you. I have my own shelf at my father’s house where I put everything I want to take with me and what is important to me: a Rubik's Cube, my favorite perfume, photos of my whole family, notes to play the flute, letters that will cheer me up whenever I feel sad…
I’m also packing some of my things at my mother’s house: there I have my empty suitcase that i’m filling with items like toiletries (tooth brush, shampoo, skin care), clothes and little boxes where I can put in the stuff that would otherwise just lie around my suitcase. Keep in mind that every airline’s regulations are different when it comes to the size of the suitcase. The requirements differ from airline to airline so be smart and read up about it in the early stages of your preparation.
How to book a flight?
Monday, 10 December 2018 - 7 pm
After my nth attempt to find a suitable flight, I asked my father to help me, who unfortunately was just as overwhelmed as me. The whole situation was a bit over challenging for me, which was the reason why I procrastinated for weeks. I’ve never been on an airplane. Our holidays were always in Germany or we would go to Switzerland by car. My father and I didn’t know what to pay attention to when booking my flight. Eventually I asked Armin, my Host Dad, and he told me that it would be easier if I avoided a lay-over in the US, as they often have strict and time consuming security checks.
You should never hesitate to ask any questions to your Host Family. If you’re an Au Pair for the first time, just like me, they will understand and support you with any questions. What helps me a lot is also Google. You’re not sure if you are allowed to take a deodorant spray onto the airplane? You’re wondering what the weather in your Host Country will be like? And what about the time difference? Google is your loyal friend. ;)
The lesson is clear: Try not to procrastinate especially if you have the feeling of being overwhelmed. Ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to prepare everything on your own!
Early Au Pair preparation
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 - 1 pm
Time’s running: next month I will already work as an Au Pair in Mexico and look after three sweet kids. At the moment I’m in the final stages of preparation. I can only recommend an early preparation for your Au Pair stay. My decision was rather spontaneous and, considering it now, I should have planned everything during my search for a Host Family. Applying for things like a credit card or a global health insurance takes some time. I only had two months to get everything done so learn from my mistakes and plan everything in advance!
Take care of personal issues
Friday, 4 January 2019 - 11 pm
I’m sitting in a crammed car with my family on our way back home. My granddad was diagnosed with cancer and my mom took the chance to enjoy the winter holiday with him. Not even the fact that I was going to leave in ten days kept me from visiting him. I couldn’t imagine to stay at home and take care of the remaining steps for my journey, if this could be the last time that I will spend some time with him. I don’t think I could forgive myself if he passed away during my stay. We had three stressful
but wonderful days together and when I leave I will know that I said goodbye.
I want to get as many things done as possible
, so that I can meet my Host Family being relaxed and calm. But before, I need to take care of another thing: a friend of mine who is terrified of losing me. She thinks that I won’t return and that our friendship will end when I’m away. I will definitely not leave before I have sorted that out. Additionally my plan is to have everything packed on Saturday to make sure that my room is all tidy and clean before I leave.
Monday, 14 January 2019 - 8 am
So much for good intentions! I completely overslept and what is the worst consequence? The state of my room, obviously! I hope my family can forgive me. I was ill and therefore late with packing. I tried to pack the suitcase so that it meets the weight regulation of the airline until 2 am. Therefore I was so tired that I didn’t even hear the alarm at 5 am…
I hope this little insight into my personal Au Pair preparation
was helpful for you. I’m already looking forward to my next blog post. In the meantime you can have a look at Wiktoria’s latest blog post