So considering some time has passed since y last post, it’s obvious things have happened. I’m still completely happy here, both with my host family and friends. Every Sunday I follow the Broncos games and hope for them to reach the Superbowl. I work from 12pm to 6pm every day and have my weekends off. So you could say I’m getting into the routine and that I enjoy that part.
Today I can say that I’ve spent 2 months, 3 weeks and 3 days in the US. It’s crazy how the time flies here. I love the kids and I love my job. I love how things feel here. In movies they keep on saying that cheesy line: “I never felt like I belonged and now I feel like I’m finally home. Like I’ve finally found y place in the world.” To me, that was always a bunch of BS, but now I’m tempted to think the same. I love my family back home, but I love this place. I can’t even describe it. All I know is that right now I don’t know how I will ever leave.
One of my friends here, a Swedish girl named Lina, is on a plane right now that will take her back to the east coast. She spent her first year there with a family she adored, but decided to spend her year somewhere else in the country for her extension. The family she ended up with here in Denver didn’t suit her and she was never really happy and that’s the reason she decided to go into rematch. Now she’son her way to a family that sounds truly great and I’m SO happy that she’s on her way to a new family that will hopefully be a great fit.
But thinking about it, rematch, makes me think about how lucky I am. And how quick things can change. That perfection takes work. Hard work. And I realize I don’t spend enough time with the family. My weekends are swamped because in the beginning that was the most important thing, to tie bonds to others which would then help in the whole process of being away from home. But now I know it’s OK to take a day and hang out with the family. To hang out with the kids even if I’m off. The family spent the weekend in a cabin (read mansion) in the mountains and I slept alone in the house for one night. Honestly it was brutal. I’m so used to hearing them everywhere, I mean there’s seven of us in the house after all, that turning off the lights, the fire and locking doors felt so alien to me when the house was empty. Like it echoed. I missed them. The kids and the parents, because they’re such a big part of my life here. I just hope they still want me to be a bigger part of the family.
My promise and attempt to update as often as possible clearly failed. *Smacking my hands because they are useless. So I’m gonna try one more time. Now that things are starting to happen here I think regular updates should come by themselves.
So what’s going on here in Denver? Well, fall is apparently here, although I still don’t need a jacket when I go out (in Sweden fall means cold and rain, not so much here though). So I’ve decorated my room so that it matches the season with orange, yellow and red. The leaves outside of my window match those colors at least (read some of them).
I’ve had my three first au pair meetings now. First one was during my first week at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Second one was a charity one at a frozen yogurt bar and the last one was at a Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield State Park. They had a corn maze, a LOT of food stands, horse rides, truck rides and VERY crowded parking lots. Took me 10 minutes at least to find my car. Probably more.
What more happened? Well my host mom had surgery a week ago which meant that the past week meant more work for me. It was tough but it worked. I liked that i could be there for them since they needed the extra help.
I downloaded Tinder. It’s been pretty fun so far. Weird people on there but some are pretty normal and nice. Been on 2 dates so far. And one “date” (I call it dinner when it comes to that one).
A lot more has happened but I’m gonna leave for the Zombie Parade downtown in just a few minutes so this is all I have time to tell. See ya!
So I thought I would get on with uploading my photos! FINALLY!
Today I’m meeting another au pair at the Southglenn Mall and at 5pm I’ll go to a host family and au pair meeting at a frozen yogurt shop where they give some of the money to Kids First (Cultural Care’s charity program). Hopefully I’ll be free tonight so that I can see the Maze Runner: Scorch Trials with some of the au pairs I’ve been talking to! Really love the Maze Runner so this is a big deal!
So this is from NY!
Statue of Liberty
the Wall Street Bull
Grand Central Station (scene in Gossip Girl)
Rockefeller Center with view of Central Park
Empire State Building
HM: It feels like hoe. But bigger!
GIVE ME SOME!
I’ve been here for 4 weeks now and I just have to say I LOVE Colorado!
I had the day off so I went to Old Navy to get something (I was bored) and ended up with a sweater and a long sleeved top-ish thing. Then I helped out with putting the lunchboxes away before I went to meet Tiina, an au pair in my group. She’s from Finland and I had a great time. We had some dinner at the Italian restaurant Olive Garden (big portion, we ate half and I feel sick right now) and then went to Littleton Lanes, a bowling alley not more than 10 minutes from the house. It wasa combination of ugly shoes, bad bowling (on my part) and really good company. And we learned from a very serious guy that “you shall not play when the neighbor is getting ready to play, since that will throw them off their focus”. So the last game we took turns to not make Mr Bowling-Guy angry and frustrated. No tantrums outside of work, please!
So one month. 1 month! I can officially say that today (or actually yesterday since it past midnight) is the day I can say I’ve been in the USA for 31 days. I absolutely love it here. It’s crazy beautiful, and I’ll hopefully get some pictures up here soon to prove it, and it’s one of the reasons to why I never want to leave. I hear about au pairs leaving and about being homesick, but all I really miss and can cry about is my dog. It sounds pathetic and I’m sorry to say this (my family is not forgotten) but she left a hole in me that can only be filled by her.
But I still don’t want to leave.
Today, the 31st day here in America, was amazing. It started with me spending 153$ on pants and a training outfit. Then getting C (the 5yo) her lunch and going to Target in the hopes of finding the wanted Play-Doh doll set. There I splurged a bit more and got some things for my room (read unnecessary decorations) and presents for my family and my little sister who has her birthday October 2nd. Back home we had a splendid snack made out of fruit and nutella drops (tasty, somewhat healthy snack that the kids LOVE). I took C and the twins to her soccer practice while my hostmom took KH (oldest, 9yo) to swimming. After a very busy stream of activities and challenges for the boys and soccer for C we went to McDonald’s (we had a contest to determine who could pick and the boys won) for dinner. The night ended with some playing and hanging out with my hostmom since the dad is away on a trip. Best time because we watched the Broncos-Chiefs game and it was so amazing and nerve wrecking! We jumped up when Broncos did their last and winning touchdown with like 20 seconds left of the game. The perfect ending for a very perfect and fun day.
See you all soon and greetings
from this very loyal Broncos fan!
So I spent the most of today at the Southglenn mall just outside of Denver. Being who I am I decided to only bring neutrals when I traveled since it’s the easiest to match. But in the last few days I noticed that wearing white and black every day is kind of a drag so I joined another Swedish au pair, Lina, and went to the Southglenn mall to hang out and get some more options into my closet. I came home with 4 tops from Old Navy and two of them were not black or white! Looking at my receipt now I realize I only payed for 3 out of 4 items, so yay for that! Then I got a new computer mouse for my computer with a cute owl motive.
Right now I’m in my room and soon I’ll go down to the BBQ we’re hosting and get myself some tacos. All in all, this was a really fun day! Happy labor day weekend! Is that what you say?
So, I’ve been to the Training School in New York and today is the day that I can say I’ve been with my host family for 2 weeks! I decided to take some time off from everything, like the blog and my family back home, to really let myself get used to this whole new thing.
But from now on, I will post as often as possible, preferably every day and tell you about my au pair experience. See you soon!
Jag har varit på Au Pair skolan på Long Island och kan officiellt säga att jag har varit hos min värdfamilj i 2 veckor idag! I början bestämde jag mig för att låta mig själv slappna av och vänja mig vid allt det nya, vilket betydde avstånd från bloggar, Facebook och familj där hemma.
Men nu är det slut med det och jag kommer skriva inlägg så ofta som möjligt, helst varje dag om något intressant händer! Ses!!
Leaving is hard and it sucks. I’m leaving my home, my town, my life at 12 pm today and it hurts. I’ll miss my mum, my family and my friends. And my dog. Never thought I would miss my dog this much. But, now my time is up and I’m leaving. Updating soon!
Att åka är svårt och det suger om jag ska vara ärlig. Jag lämnar mitt hem, min stad och mitt liv kl 12 idag och det gör ont. Jag kommer sakna min mamma, familjen och vännerna. Och min älskade hund. Aldrig trodde jag att jag skulle kunna sakna en hund så mycket. Men men, nu är min tid här slut och jag ska ut på mitt livs äventyr. Än så länge i alla fall. Ha de bra!
So, one of the biggest things when traveling in general is packing. You don’t want to bring too much, but you still want a lot of your clothes with you. I’m not leaving until Monday, but I still want say what I feel about packing and luggage.
A big part about packing smart is having a good suitcase. I decided to buy new ones before I left since I wanted a light, but still sturdy and reliable suitcase during my year abroad. It came down to either the TITAN Xenon or Epic’s GRX Hexacore. They both have 7 years of unlimited warranty, which means that even if the airline or you screw up, they fix the bag for free. In the end I chose the Epic, since the salesman at the store said that the only thing making one stand out, was that the Epic had been brought in less times for fixing than the TITAN.
Packing can be hard. Try to pack for 2 weeks at the most and then see if you have space left. Bring things that can be mixed and matched. Skip the colourful pants if you want the colourful shirts and you’ll be able to wear any bottom with any top. To really take advantage of the space in your suitcase you need to pack smart. Don’t fold your clothes, it causes wrinkles and takes up more space. Either roll them carefully or use vacuum storage bags. Wear your bulkiest clothing and shoes when you travel and pack everything for the week in New York in your carry on. You don’t want to look foolish when the airline has lost your biggest suitcase and all you have is a handbag full of non-clothes.
A common thing amongst au pairs as the departure date comes closer is feeling sad, nervous and doubtful. It’s only seven days until I travel to New York and my feelings are all over the place. A part of me is happy and excited about the year to come, but I also feel so bad about the whole situation. I’ve started to doubt my decision to spend a year abroad and feel guilty for leaving everyone behind. Of course I know that they will be fine and still around when I return home, but I still doubt myself. Questions come up like why I have decided to live with strangers for a whole year or why I’m putting my life in Sweden on hold to work with children. Just why? Have I made the right call? All these things is hard to get through… Your parents might say it’s normal but you’ll all know they can’t really know without being in your situation. It’s hard to find support within your group of friends since they don’t understand. So, from a fellow au pair, I say:
“If you have doubts, if you’re scared or worried about the USA or your return, this is all normal things to feel.”
But if that doesn’t assure you, I recommend that you get in touch with other au pairs. This is a simple way to get tips and information about the journey you’re about to take. I first had some contact with other girls from Sweden, and later joined a WhatsApp group for all of the au pairs traveling to the training school on the same date. The easiest way to get in touch is by using Facebook. Look for a group for au pairs for the year you’re traveling in and the name of your organisation, like “Cultural Care Au Pair 2015”. Joining a group like this will give you a way to find other au pairs. Just write a post and you’ll find people living where you’ll live and others that will stay at the training school with you. Me and the other au pairs traveling the 17th of August have multiple WhatsApp groups and it has helped me a lot!
Having the support of others going through the same thing is more important than you might first imagine. You might have only days left until your departure date or as much as several months, but a support network is always a good thing to have. It’s a lot easier getting through those moments of doubts when you know you’re not alone. These girls and boys can help you decide on a suitcase or find out additional information about the training school and tips on how to travel like a pro. There are no downsides, so just go on and find your fellow au pairs. It will be worth it!