Maria | Birthday Bash Back Home

by Au Pair in America

Half time for APiA blogger Maria! One of the perks of being a Canadian Au Pair in America: You can take advantage of the fact that it’s fairly easy to swing by your loved ones back home. Especially if your birthday is just around the corner!

Toronto in the rear-view mirror

Toronto in the rear-view mirror

Hey Springboarders! During your au pair year, you will most definitely feel homesick. Even after you’ve spent a good enough time away from home and think that you’ve gotten used to your new environment. However, I personally have not gotten used it to completely even being half way through my au pair year. So recently, I decided to visit home. More specifically, I went home for my birthday.

A chocolate birthday cake with Happy Birthday writing and sprinkles on top.

If there’s one thing a proper birthday bash needs…


Many au pairs that I have met usually come from countries that are outside of the North American continent. For them, I imagine it would be quite costly and perhaps not possible to visit their home countries during their vacation time.  I come from Canada, a country that connects to the United States. So contrarily, it is easy for me to be able to stay connected with my family and friends. My visit home was great. It was good to see familiar faces and catch up, but also good to relax from my usual au pair routine! It made me shed some small tears because how much I’ve missed those people. Seeing their smiling faces and realizing how much time has passed. It’s a little crazy!

Queen subway station in Toronto

With Toronto being on the biggest cities in Canada, the city has an excellent public transport system


I came home to celebrate my birthday (yay, another year older!). And boy was it a busy time for me! So many gifts to open, dinners to attend, and desserts to eat. Time really did fly. In a way, I felt different, as if I was so out of the loop about everything. Being reunited with old friends makes you realise how you’re all living completely different lives now.  The conversations became more about my new city, my new life, and everything about me being away, versus, how our days were, any new movies we saw, etc. Point being that the tone of conversation has changed, and to me, it felt a little strange. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time with my family and friends and I do consider myself to be lucky in a sense.

Maria reunited with three of her old friends!

Maria reunited with her old friends!


While I was there, I explored the beautiful city of Toronto! It is a great place to visit. For one thing, it is one of the biggest cities in the world. But more importantly, it is also known to bring the fashionistas and business people alike together in one diverse place. It’s got a skyline from coast to coast with a big lake for a great backdrop in photos. It’s also home to one of the tallest buildings in the world; the CN Tower. They excite people with an “edge walk” over 1000 ft in the air, and a variety of cuisines to fit just about anyone’s taste. I would highly recommend visiting Toronto. There will never be a dull moment especially if you’ve never been there before.

The top of the iconic CN Tower, surrounded by a blue sky and pink clouds.

Toronto wouldn’t be the same without it: the iconic, free-standing CN Tower!

Unfortunately, my trip home had to end, and I must say, there is some sort of relief coming back to a standard schedule without much unexpected chaos. And naturally, it feels amazing getting to see your host family again. Vacations are a fun time whether they are visiting a recognized place or a new one. If it weren’t for this au pair experience, I wouldn’t have this cultural experience to looking forward to going back home to my friends and family. And I wouldn’t know what it’s like to let them in on the rewards as well as teach them about a new location they may not have seen before!

Subway station "High Park" in Toronto

You’re an outdoorsy person? Make sure to swing by High Park when in Toronto!

Thanks for reading fellow au pairs. Stay tuned for more upcoming travel tips for all those of you who are planning on visiting Canada throughout their year. See you next time!

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