A year ago, if you would have told me that I would be moving to France I would have simply laughed in your face and said, “there is no possible way that one, my parents would support that and two, I could afford it”.
A year later, here I am with one, my parent’s support and two, having paid for it all.
It is crazy to think that in seven days I will be getting on a plane to go to the other side of the world, and there will be no looking back. My friends are so excited for me, my parents talk about the things to watch out for and yet, here I am, still trying to wrap my head around it.
On Saturday, my family and I headed to Chicago to pick up friends who were flying in from Spain to visit. They live in the Basque region (I mentioned them in my first post about France), five minutes away from France. My stomach started to become tight and I felt scared. I was not going anywhere, but with the thought that in a week I will be, I began to physically experience my body’s response to the fact that leaving is a reality.
I could not do this without the massive amount of support I have received from my parents and friends.
I have truly started second guessing myself. What if something goes wrong? Who do I call? Where do I go? What if I will not get along with the family? What if they hate what they get? Yet, that is who I am. I second guess everything. Somehow though, I manage a way to pull myself through it. I know this will be an amazing year if I try to make it. I will not let my fears get in the way.
I could not thank my parents enough for everything they have done. This would not have been a thing if my mom would not have mentioned it. Earlier, I mentioned how I believed my parents would not have supported such a thing.
My mom and I were on our way for Spring Break to St. Augustine, Florida (truly a magnificent place). She started with, “Veronica, have you ever thought about taking a year off?” Obviously, I had. The summer before my senior year of high school, Jeff (one of our Spanish friends visiting) had mentioned becoming an au pair. I began to talk to my mom about it and she had simply told me that she thought it was not a good idea and should experience some college first. On the car ride to Florida she followed with, “I was thinking that maybe you should take a year off and be nanny in France”. There it was, the support I had wanted and the only one that truly mattered. From then on, I started reading blogs, websites and anything that talked about how to become an au pair. When we got back from vacation and we told my dad, he approved and said he thought it would be an amazing opportunity.
I found the company I liked (Au Pair Paris), which is centered in Paris and works one on one with the individual. I feel quite safe with this company and they have dealt magnificently when it has come to paperwork and setting me up with a family. They have also done very well in helping me choose a school.
My host mother has been quite wonderful in keeping contact from the day she said that she would love to host me and have me as her daughter’s au pair. The first time I was sent their information, honestly, I started to gain tears in my eyes… because my dreams were coming true. The first time we Skyped, I couldn’t have been more excited. The first time I Skyped with the little girl, I remember my dad standing outside of the office doors, hoping to understand something. He even opened the door to let our little dog, Nemo, walk in and sit on my lap so she would see him. She got excited when she saw I was holding a dog.
My friends have been supportive from the moment I said “Hey, I am moving to France”. I was in the midst of apartment shopping with my friend Sam, and when I told her, she could not have been more supportive… and I could not thank her enough. Friends who have lived in France tell me stories of their adventures and say, “You don’t even know what is waiting for you”. Quite frankly, I probably do not.
In doing something like this, truly, some kind of support helps. Either from family, friends or the host family themselves. I have been lucky to receive that support from all ends, and it has helped in making my dreams come true.
Thank you all.