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Hey guys! Welcome to my first guest post here on AuPair.com. I’m Abbey, a 20-year-old from a small town on the south east coast of Australia. I’m currently living and working as an Au Pair in the beautiful Italian city of Milan. I have been working for a lovely family for almost one year now and it has been the best year of my life so far.
I left Australia as a timid 19-year-old full of a great fear of the unknown. Fast forward 10 months and I am independent, capable – beyond my wildest dreams and full of love for this amazing lifestyle. I have learnt to speak Italian, travelled extensively across Europe and made friends from all around the world. What a dream life!
How did it all start?
Well, the decision to become an Au Pair was due to what some may call, “a series of unfortunate events”.
Half way through my final year of school I contracted and was diagnosed with Glandular Fever. If you aren’t familiar with this basically, it’s a virus that attacks your immune system. I mean it really demolishes that system. In my case, it was caused by over- studying, working two jobs and trying to maintain my social life. It left me exhausted and weak.
I was stuck in my bed for nine months because my body was too weak to even walk to the bathroom. I couldn’t eat dinner with my family let alone spend time with friends. It was really horrible. I was studying so hard because I wanted to become a lawyer, I felt that my dreams were now out of reach and that travelling the world would certainly be out of the question.
I wasn’t going to let that happen! My doctor and I created a game plan. This meant I had to eat certain foods and avoid others, I began light exercises and had to spend x amount of time in the sun. Things were looking good and I was certainly on the road to recovery. However, my body wasn’t quite strong enough to cope with studying. So, I spilt my final year across two years, I was determined to be accepted to study my dream law degree.
During this period, I had a lot of time to think about my future and what I actually wanted to get out of life. I knew that I wanted to study law however, after this prolonged illness I knew that I wasn’t ready to hit the books again just yet.
So, I decided that I was going to move to Italy. Why? The Italian food, need I say anymore?
If I had the strength, then I certainly had the determination and I came to understand that we are given one life here on this earth. If I can wake up every day and get out of bed, I am so grateful for that and I absolutely have to make the most of it.
But how was I going to move my life to Italy?
At the same time as I recommenced my final year, I began a crazy amount of research. Beginning with a google search of: “How can I move to Italy???”.
I wrote down exactly what I wanted to get out of moving to Italy: A typical Italian experience, I wanted to make new friends, I had to spend time travelling in other European countries, I needed to eat the best food Italy had to offer, I wanted to learn Italian and I wanted a comfort blanket – after all, I was only 19 and my health was certainly not at 100% yet.
I decided to become an Au Pair because I really liked the idea of living with a family and in turn, getting a full cultural immersion experience. I knew that by being an Au Pair I would be able to stay in Italy for a longer period of time, I would receive pocket money, I’d be looking after children- something I already enjoyed doing, I’d eat hearty Italian food and have a support network as I began to travel the world solo.
I’ve never looked back! It was as simple as creating a profile on AuPair.com, choosing my preferred locations and connecting with families. I had my parents full support throughout the whole process which was really comforting. I was moving to Italy!
What did I do when I knew that I was moving to Italy?
Apart from the ridiculous screaming, jumping of excitement and hugging my parents, I had to prepare.
I began by buying my ticket which was when reality hit. Italy here I come…
Not quite, I had to buy travel insurance as well which was just as expensive as my flight but an absolute essential step. I researched a lot about being an Au Pair and what to expect, I didn’t want to find any nasty surprises when I arrived. Finally, I packed all my things and began the much-awaited journey to Italy.
My Advice to you:
If you are stuck in a situation that maybe beyond your control and are left dreaming of creating a new experience, well becoming an Au Pair is a great place to start. In the end, I was accepted to study law and after the huge toll life took on my health I knew that I needed to take some time out – a gap year and try something different. I have experienced many things during this year and it certainly hasn’t been all highs, but it has been a great way to take a step back and enjoy everything life really has to offer.
Connect with a family and start creating a life that you always dreamed of, there is no time like the present.
I hope that you will join me on Wednesdays for all my latest posts. Have an amazing week guys!
Until then, Abbey!