AMANDA H. FROM SWEDEN SEPTEMBER 2016/ JULY 2017
After years of dreaming about becoming an au pair I finally fulfilled my dream and moved to Málaga, Spain. I had finally found an agency in Spain and a hostfamily that were just as excited as I was. The first week I spent getting to know the family while they still were on vacations. But after one week I had still not found any other au pair or friend in my age and I started to panic a bit. I knew that with just some time and effort I would find someone to have fun with, but I guess being so far away from home for the first time without knowing the city, country, language or any people, made me a bit afraid. But just a few days later I met two au pairs that know have become very good friends of mine and we have seen a lot of Spain together.
So the school started and so did my «work». For a start everything was good and since this was my first experience far away from home and my family I did not really see the signs that I was not feeling well living with this family. It took me 3 months until I realized that I could not keep living with them for another 6 months. Except for saying some things that really made me feel bad, they did not treat me bad or anything like this, it was simply that I didn’t feel comfortable living and being around them all day long. I talked a lot about this to my friends, both here in Spain and back home, with my family and I also wrote a long email to the au pair agency. I also gathered all my courage and talked to my hostdad. I don’t thing that he understood what I felt, but when I told them a few days later that I didn’t want to come back after christmas (I had flight tickets home to spend christmas with my family) at least they accepted my choice.
During the two weeks back home I talked to a few more families and 5 days before I had my flight back to Spain I found a new hostfamily. A single mom with a 3-year old girl living in Madrid. Thinking back on this I am so glad that I had the courage to start over after a not so good experience with my first hostfamily, instead of being afraid and stay home.
The new family welcomed me with open arms and it did not take long until I felt like one in the family. I have now spent almost 8 months with them and it has been the best months of my life. I now have an extra family and a home away from home. I don’t know what else to say about them because all I can say is that they are my family and that I am so thankful that they made my au pair experience to the perfect one.
I kept exploring cities and places in Spain, with my friends from Málaga, with new friends that I got to know in Madrid and also with friends and family from home that came to visit me. Madrid is such a beautiful city, especially on the spring and summer. I highly recommend Madrid if you want to be an au pair in Spain. They speak good spanish (and most of the people here speak at least a little english), the people are friendly, it’s easy to meet new people and you have lots of things to do and see. And once again, it’s a beautiful city.
So after one year in Spain what have I achieved? First of all, my spanish is almost fluent, which was one of my goals. Second and most important, I have grown SO much as a person. Although I was already grown up and responsible etc before I came here, I still feel that this year made a lot of impact on me. I had to take a lot of difficult decisions on my own, I have travelled alone, explored new cities along, I have lived far away from my family and stept outside my comfort zone and you know what, it is not scary at all. And I do not regret anything. If I hadn’t started my year in Málaga I would never had met my friends, that I know will be friends for life, and I would never had changed family to this wonderful family. There’s a lot of things that would not had happened and although my dream didn’t start at all as I had imagined it, it sure ended way better then I could ever imagine.
So, if you think of going abroud as an au pair, don’t be afraid, DO IT!!