Before I became an au pair it wasn’t something that I had ever really given much thought, but I think that was mainly because I didn’t know about the opportunities that are out there. It was actually my sister who put the idea of au pairing into my head. She’d done it in Europe and said how much of a fantastic time she’d had. I was at a bit of a cross roads in life. I’d had quite a lot of previous experience working with children in the past, and I was sure that I wanted to go into a role working with children again, so becoming an au pair seemed like a brilliant opportunity.
Moving to another country can be a scary thought, and as I didn’t speak any other languages I decided that an English speaking country was the best way to go. I’d never been to Australia but always wanted to go. Before I knew it I had booked a one-way plane ticket and I was preparing to set off on an adventure of a lifetime.
The family I stayed with were incredible. I’d spoken with them a fair few times before we met which I think is important. You start to get a feel for each other and can make sure that you’re going to be compatible; it’s a two-way process, both you and the family have to feel happy with each other. Obviously I was nervous about moving into someone else’s home but they made me feel comfortable right from the start. They had a welcome booklet for me to read which detailed all the important stuff like schedules, pocket money, working hours etc. The kids were really excited to have me there, they actually helped and guided me a lot over the first few weeks which helped me settle into the routine. Before I knew it I felt like part of the family.
Becoming an au pair helped me develop so many essential life skills such as communication, organisation and confidence; it enabled me to gain experience in the field of work I want to go into; I made some friends for life, many of which I speak to on a regular basis; and I gained my very own Aussie family for life, who supported me throughout my journey. I am forever grateful to them for welcoming me into their lives like they did.
Australia is an amazing country. I spent most of my time in Sydney but I was lucky enough to travel to various places whilst I was there. Melbourne and Brisbane are both a short flight away and easily accessible for a weekend. Then there’s the ‘bucket list’ trips like sailing around the Whitsundays, or camping out on Fraser Island… both are a must!! There’s so much to do in Australia. Maybe you like the hustle and bustle of city life with endless shops, restaurants and bars, or perhaps you’re more into relaxing on the incredible beaches with the whitest sand and the bluest water, whatever you’re into you’ll find it in Australia… there really is something for everyone!
I can’t tell you how glad I am that I became an au pair, it was truly one of the best experiences of my life and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could. So what are you waiting for…. Go have your very own Aussie adventure and make your own memories to shout about!
Lindsay McLorg, UK