Today we had the chance to talk to a real travel lover! This is someone who has fully embraced the life of an Au Pair. She has been an Au Pair in Italy and now is in her second year of being an Au Pair in New Zealand! Here is our chat:
1) What is your name?
2) What country are you living in?
3) Can you describe your host family?
A single mom and 3 children, ages 8, 6, and 2
4) When did you arrive? How long will you stay?
April 2016, I was an au pair for a year but stayed and got a second year visa because I really love New Zealand.
5) What do you do with your Host Family in your free time?
I love going for walks with them, hang out in my room with the youngest because she loves to come in and play with my makeup and purses, and play cricket in the backyard because the two older kids taught me how to play.
6) What is a “typical” day like for you?
My day is probably unique to other au pairs, my host mum is a nurse and does 12 hour day shifts or night shifts. For a day shift I make the kids breakfast, make lunches, take the older kids to school, take care of the 2 year old all day (we go to the park, swimming, or kindy gym), pick the boys up from school, play with the kids until I have to make dinner, give the kids a bath, then put them to bed. For overnight shifts I start at 6:30pm, so I just have to bathe the kids, put them to sleep, then in the morning make breakfast, lunches, and drop them off at school.
Most au pairs I know work Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm. When I was an au pair in Italy, I took Italian lessons during the day because it wasn’t (completely) an English speaking country. It was very cool to learn and practice a different language that way.
7) Best part of being an Au Pair.
Getting to live in a beautiful country and not have to worry about being alone, and having a second family you will never forget! Host families and wonderful and always help to accommodate you, make you feel at home, and help you see their amazing country. Also I’ve met some of my best friends here.
8) Worst part of being an Au Pair?
Being away from my family. I know a lot of au pairs have no trouble with being homesick, but I do. Making friends, travelling, and facetiming with family helps this a lot.
9) What’s a culture shock you’ve experienced in your host country?
New Zealand isn’t so different from Canada. A few this that are quite different are the climate, because New Zealand winters barely feel like winter, and Christmas is in summer! Also how easy going all the people, New Zealanders are some of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve ever met.
10) Can you teach us something new?
‘Whanau’ means ‘family’ in the Maori language. Maori are New Zealand’s indigenous people.
11) What would you say to someone looking to be an Au Pair?
I have been an au pair twice, the second time I left University after one year to come to New Zealand. Taking time off has been incredible for me, I’ve had some amazing experiences I would have probably never had if I didn’t choose to leave. But I’m going back to school in September, and I’m glad I took the time off for myself to figure out what I really wanted to study.