Growing up I never really got to travel but always wanted to. So when I finished my job training in 2008 I decided I wanted to be an Au-Pair. After months of research and a lot of Skype calls I found a family through Au-Pair World. I didn’t want to search for a family through an agency, I wanted to find one myself. Considering I hadn’t been away from home before I think I was pretty brave! Since I wanted to improve my English I focused on English speaking countries and finally found my match in Jersey. No, not New Jersey. Jersey is an island in the English Channel just off the French coast. It is the largest of 5 islands that make up the Channel Islands (again, not to be confused with the Chanel Islands in California!) and absolutely stunning.
I still remember the morning of the big day. My parents, brother and best friend took me to the airport to see me off. I was so nervous because it was my first flight and I had to change airports in London. I managed to find the right bus to take me to the right airport and also found my host mum in the arrivals hall in Jersey – success!
The first two weeks away from home were very hard for me and I almost broke off to return home but my mum would not let me – thank you Mama!! I started going to play groups and met a lot of other Au-Pairs who were in the same situation and my host mum introduced me to a lovely Irish girl who quickly became my best friend! The summer of 2008 was eagerly spent exploring the island! I got to swim at St Ouens Beach, go for runs along the Avenue, sipped the best Mocha Latte in the “Bean Around the World) which is the best coffee shop in Jersey, tried fish soup served in a loaf of bread and visited the Devil himself at Devil’s Hole!
Although Jersey is very small in size, its population is very diverse. Living abroad also made me find myself and really boosted my confidence. I learnt a new language, held down a job at a local store for three years, made friends for life and found a second home for myself.
A year on, in August 2009, my time as an Au-Pair ended but I stayed for three more years because I loved it so much. Being an Au-Pair and living in Jersey really made me catch the travel bug. I returned home in 2012 and although I have a base here in Innsbruck I haven’t stopped traveling since. If you consider being an Au-Pair – do it! It’s the best way to travel and still have a place to call home at the same time.