5 Reasons To Take A Year Off & Au Pair Abroad

by - March 21, 2016

Happy Monday Babes!

For those of you who have been keeping track (I have high doubts that there are many) I am coming up on my 6 month anniversary of packing up my life in Canada and moving out the the UK to be an au pair. On the 27th of March I will officially have been living with and working for my host family for six whole months! Which is crazy to me because it does not feel like I've been here for that long, and it's even crazier to think that my time here is already halfway done. 
With that said, I thought now would be a great time to reflect on my time here and after doing so I decided it would also be a great time to share some reasons why I think everyone (well almost everyone) should take some time off to become an au pair themselves. 
This truly has been such a fantastic experience for me and I believe that if done properly it can be a great experience for others as well! 
So here are my 5 reasons why you should consider taking a year off and become an au pair abroad: 

1. It's The Cheapest Way To Travel 

Especially if you're choosing to be an au pair in Europe! As an au pair, you don't pay rent, you don't pay for food and you get a weekly stipend (albeit not much) which should be enough for you to live a social lifestyle and have the opportunity/means to travel as much as you can! So far in the nearly 6 months I've lived over here, I have been to Amsterdam, London, Paris, Galway and Dublin. Plus I've got plans to go to many more places in the near 6 months I have remaining. 
Having a free place to live and eat gives you the ability to save money in between your trips, and if you live somewhat frugally (not going out every single weekend and shopping every week) you'll be able to see a lot more than you would if were simply backpacking!

2. You'll Make Friends With People From All Over The World

To be fair, to succeed on this one you're going to have to put in the effort, and admittedly I haven't done overly well in that department. However, I do have friends who've au-paired in big cities and have easily made long-lasting friendships with people from all walks of the earth. Not only do these people become great travelling buddies, you'll likely find yourself having somewhere to stay when you visit their home country. And free accommodation and a friend while travelling is never a bad thing!

3. You'll Learn So Much About Yourself & Your Abilities 

This I can promise you. I know it sounds hella cheesy, and maybe it is, but perhaps in the best way possible. Before I came here I was so sure I wanted to settle down right away and start a family ASAP (quite a task I might add, considering I'm single as fuck and always have been), but after taking care of 3 kids under the age of 6 I quickly realised I want to be able to enjoy as much of my younger years as I can, free of the responsibilities of marriage and kids. Again I'm not entirely sure who I'm trying to fool, even if I didn't come to this realisation , the chances of me even finding someone to settle down with in the next few years are slim at best, but still. 
Your abilities will also be tested because this job requires the kind of skills you wouldn't necessarily use in any other job. Like changing the diaper and clothes of a 1 year old who prefers to be naked, or negotiating a sassy threenager to eat her lunch. The job is a learning process, and it isn't as easy as you might think, but it's more than worth it. 

4. You Get To Become A Big Sister/Brother 

And if you're the youngest in the family like me, this is something you'll find really mazing. Yes it will take some time for the kids to really warm up to you, but once they do, I promise it will become one of the best feelings. The first time my host kids told me that they loved me, I nearly started crying. To be fair I cry at a lot of things so unless like me, you also don't have any sort of control over your emotions, you likely won't react quite like that. But it will still be a really nice sentiment! 
If you choose wisely, you'll probably end up with a host family that goes out of their way to make you feel like you're part of the family, and to be able to integrate yourself into someone else's family is such a great way to feel less lonely away from your own. 

5. It Will Be An Experience You Never Forget

Whether you have a good experience or a bad one (and if you choose a family wisely you'll likely have a good one) your time as an au pair will be a time you won't soon forget. You will go back home with stories of all sorts, and you'll get to reflect on a year of some pretty amazing memories. 

And there you have it, my 5 reasons for taking a year off and becoming an au pair abroad. If any of you guys are thinking about it, my advice is simple: Just do it. Because if I've learned anything from any of my previous Wisdom Wednesday posts, we only regret the chances we didn't take . And if you've never thought about it before and somehow just stumbled upon this post, I hope you will take a moment to think about doing it. I have so enjoyed my first 6 months of being an au pair and I have no doubt I will enjoy my next 6 months as well !

Much Love, 
Spense xx

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1 thoughts

  1. Awesome post! As much as we miss you, we know that this is an experience you'll have for the rest of your life and one you won't regret. Love you❤️