Today I will talk about a topic most Au Pair’s don’t want to address: Coming back home after spending an unforgettable time abroad. The idea of leaving the Host Family sounds scary. It was also a scary thought for me while I spent time abroad as an Au Pair in London. I had a lot of questions running through my mind: Am I going to lose all of my new friends
because they live in different countries? Am I going to stay in contact with my Host Family? How am I going to react to my own culture in my country? What am I going to do after being an Au Pair? Do I want to extend my stay?
As negative as all of these thoughts sound, there is no need to worry! I will give you some advice to help you through this difficult time.
First of all, you will not lose your friends just because you live in different countries. Of course it will be difficult to see each other on a daily basis, but due to social media there is always a way to “see” each other. Just think about all the opportunities you now have: visit one friend in Italy, another one in Canada or in Spain. It just means you can travel a lot after being an
Au Pair which is definitely something you can look forward to. Having friends in different countries gives you the chance to get to know different cultures and travel. So instead of being sad to leave your friends, you can look forward to seeing them again in their country!
Your Host Family
Not only your friends will be missed but most of all your Host Family. You share a lot of new experiences together. You feel really close to them and you’re part of their family. The thought of leaving them stops you from enjoying the last weeks in their family. But leaving them doesn’t mean you will never see or hear from them again. They probably feel the same way about you. It is not easy for the kids to let you go as you were part of their daily life for a long time. So try to keep a positive attitude throughout the last weeks of your stay to make your goodbye as easy as possible. There will also be a way of staying in contact with your family even though they might already have a new Au Pair. But don’t be disappointed if it won’t be as frequent as you thought it would be. They are most of the time very busy, as you know, and the kids also need some time getting used to a new Au Pair. Don’t be upset though, they definitely didn’t forget you. Keep in mind: by this time you moved on as well and are probably busy in a new chapter of your life.
Apart from saying goodbye, your family and friends at home are waiting for you. When you first come home, you might have mixed feelings about your country. Of course, one part of you is very happy to see all your friends and family again. But the other part is experiencing a cultural shock with your own culture. This might sound strange but I had this kind of experience myself. You feel like no one understands you. You feel like everything stayed the same or things you thought would be the same are different now. You don’t feel like you belong here anymore. To avoid these negative thoughts, you have to keep in mind it’s not only you who changed. For your family and friends, life moved on as well after you left. It is important for you to stay open-minded to your own country. Share your story about your time abroad with your loved-ones. Talk about your feelings. It will help you overcome your feeling of wanderlust. Keep yourself busy in looking for a new hobby or figuring out what you want to do after your time abroad.
Keep yourself busy
As I said before it is important to keep yourself busy after your time as Au Pair. The whole world waits for you now. You have a lot of different possibilities to look forward to. You can start looking for things to do while you’re still abroad. This might help you distract yourself from being sad and also being bored in your home country. It will make it easier for you to say goodbye, as there is a new experience waiting for you. It doesn’t matter if you want to start studying, doing an apprenticeship or just travel. There are so many different options
, it is just important to do something to keep yourself from negative thoughts about the end of a great time abroad.
In the end, if you really don’t want to leave or don’t have any future plans yet, you could also extend your stay. But I will promise you, everything will turn out fine and you will overcome feeling sad about leaving!