Mexican au pair Ileana is getting ready to start her time as an au pair in America. She shares how she felt preparing to move way from home to live in the USA for one year!
I wonder how is it possible for a Mexican woman in her twenties to make her dreams come true, to have the possibility of living 30 minutes away from NYC and being a kind of an older sister to three awesome teenage boys.
My name is Ileana, I’m 23 years old and I live in a northern city in Mexico; but that’s about to change: on July 24, I’ll leave my friends and family to become an Au Pair in Scarsdale, NY. Leaving is such a big deal for me, not only because I’ll immerse myself into the unknown, but it relates to me in a really personal way. Last year, on July 24, I was flying home after spending almost two months doing my university social service (sort of volunteering with credits) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. I used to help out in a community home where pregnant indigenous women would go into childbirth; it was my first time away from home, living in a house with people from all over the world. The most amazing experience I’ve had…until now.
I loved being around friends from other places and being passionate about many causes; it felt that for the first time in a while, I had a place I belonged to. A few days before leaving Chiapas I knew I needed to find some kind of experience that would let me rediscover myself, meet new people and show me a different perspective. I remembered a few classmates had participated in the Au Pair in America program, so I wrote to them and later to the agency. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and started the paperwork to become an au pair. Now I’m basically days away from my arrival to the US!!
There’s this bittersweet taste in the air, like when you know something really cool is coming, but you have to leave so many other things behind for a while. This week I have been alone, both my parents are out of town, so I’ve cherished the last days in the house I’ve lived since I was a little baby. I’ve tried to sharpen my senses and take it all in: feel the softness of my bed, take a closer look at everything in the kitchen (my favourite place, of course), spend a little time looking at the light that enters through the window in the living room and listen to the birds singing in the backyard in the morning. I know I’ll miss the extreme temperatures, the calmness of the clouds in the evenings, the unique sunset colours in the sky and the safety that you feel walking and driving around the same streets for years. Yes. I’m certain I’ll miss the familiarity of my surroundings.
Then I think of Manhattan by Woody Allen, I think of The Strokes, Interpol, The Catcher in the Rye and the MoMA. I wonder what it will be like to walk the streets of a city that has been inhabited by so many different people through moments that have defined history. I wonder how is it possible for a Mexican woman in her twenties to make her dreams come true, to have the possibility of living 30 minutes away from NYC and being a kind of an older sister to three awesome teenage boys.
I’ll live in the suburbs, have a dog for the first time in my life, maybe I’ll run in a park full of trees or visit a nearby beach. I’ll talk with my host kids, make them laugh, cook for them, they might teach me how to be a good at video games.
The possibilities are endless and I’m ready to explore them.
We’ll be following Ileana’s journey as an Au Pair in America over the next year so stay tuned to hear how she’s settling into life as an au pair!