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!