If you’re a keen follower of our blog you may have seen our Find What Makes You Happy post to kick off the new year. ICYMI, our friends over at WYSE Travel Confederation recently conducted a global study on youth & student travellers who participated in cultural exchange programmes. They found that those travellers who participated on programs which lasted longer than 6 months (such as the Au Pair in America program ) experienced higher levels of happiness than those who participated in programs which lasted 1-4 months.
We reached out to some of our au pairs to see what they thought of this and if they found their happy, during their Au Pair in America year.
First up is Italian au pair Federica. This is her story. 😊
My name is Federica, I’m 25 and I’m from Italy! I was an au pair for two years and it was the best experience of my life. I decided to become an au pair because I was looking for an experience abroad, I really needed to improve my English and, mainly, I wanted to travel and explore America, my dream since I was a child.
MY AU PAIR STORY
I spent the first year in a small city, close to Boston in a great family, taking care of two kids, 6 and 3 years old. Then, after realising that everything was going really well and that a year was not enough for me. I decided to extend for one more year, but with a new host family. Just because I needed to live something new and explore other places. I found a new family in Brooklyn, New York City. I moved there, where I lived with a mom and two boys, 9 and 5 years old. It was the best decision I could have made. In that city I lived the best moments of my life, enjoying every single moment and experiencing the real American life. Everything was a dream, an adventure every day, meeting new people and discovering new places. ❤️
EXPERIENCING THE UNEXPECTED
Unfortunately one day, suddenly, I went into rematch and I had to look for a new family. It was so hard for me because I wanted to stay in NYC. After a lot of research and with not a lot of time, I had to change and I moved to Los Angeles, California. To a new host family with 3 kids: two girls, 9 and 5, and a 7 years old boy.
MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY MINUTE
My time in America was the best time of my life. I traveled a lot, visiting 36 states, plus Canada, Mexico, Bahamas and Puerto Rico. I lived incredible experiences, I met people from all over the world and I learned lots of things about different cultures and traditions. All these trips, all the adventures I lived in these two years made me grow up.
THE NEW FEDERICA
Now that I am back home, I feel like a completely different person from the one who got on that plane alone and scared on in December 2016. I’m more responsible, more independent, mature and nothing scares me anymore. Facing problems and reacting to what life puts in front of me doesn’t faze me anymore. I’ve learned to be reasonable, patient and, mostly, brave, I did things that I would never imagined to do in my life. I realised all my dreams and I checked almost all the points off my bucket list. I found skills that I didn’t know I had and I learned so much about my character.
FINDING MY HAPPY
For the first time in my life I really felt happy and I started to smile every single day. Because I was living the life I really wanted to live. I admit that sometimes it was hard, I felt alone and I missed my family. But it was just for a moment. It was important to make me stronger and continue to do what I planned to do and reach my goals.
This was the best experience of my life, it changed completely me for the better. I’ll be always proud of myself for making this decision because I know I couldn’t do more than I did. Now, when I see myself in the mirror I see a new Federica, smiling, happy and I’m so proud of her!
We’re so proud of you too Federica!! ❤️ If you want to find your happy in the USA like Federica, register on our site and begin your application today!