The other week, we asked our au pairs what they love to do & see in Texas. Some came back with some seriously awesome outdoor activities, others strongly recommended to go and have a proper American BBQ whilst in Texas. You can read more of their amazing travel tips in our previous blog. However, Polish au pair Magda managed to leave us speechless with her response, as she really took this challenge to a whole other level! Rather than just providing us with a list of things that you should be adding to your Texas bucket list, she surprised us with a very lovely-written declaration of love for Texas, and Houston in particular. Make sure to grab a tissue before you keep reading!
I remember the day when I fell in love with Texas like it was yesterday. In March 2016 I decided to fill out the application and to become an Au Pair in America. Although I had over 20 families on my profile which were interested in hosting me, I decided to match with a family from Houston, Texas. This family was the last one on my profile and from the beginning I felt like this would be the right match for me.
I came to Houston on September 9th, 2016. It was a very, very hot day and I was wondering how I was going to get used to this heat. Even in the winter I never felt cold, never even wore a warmer jacket. Around Thanksgiving time, we were still able to go swimming in the pool!
But it didn’t take me long to get used to it after all. I definitely am a person who prefers the heat over the cold! I also remember what I had previously read on different Facebook profiles about Houston and Texas in general. That it is a very flat and boring state. That everyone wears cowboy boots and they only listen to country music. After one week in Houston, I started to think: “Am I really in Texas?” Because I couldn’t hear any country music (at least not all the time), and not all people were wearing cowboy boots. Except for when I went to pubs or clubs which were all country-style-themed. Pretty soon, I realized that all the stereotypes I had heard of were only a myth – and I fell in love with the Texas kind of way!
Texas is twice as big as the country I am from – Poland. the most popular cities in Texas are Houston, Austin (the capital), Dallas and San Antonio. Over the past two years, I have visited all of those cities. They’re full of history, very colorful and diverse, so everyone can find something interesting to do. You can’t get bored in Texas!
People used to say Texas is all about Texmex. Lots of Mexican food. And I couldn’t agree… less! You can find delicious food from all over the world around here. I am usually not a big fan of Mexican food, but I still loved the food which I could find there! There is no better place than Texas if you’re craving steak or barbecues! I absolutely loved it, and I miss it so very badly.
But what I loved most during my au pair years (I extended for another 12 months) were the people I met. I have been to 20 different states. I have met tons of people and I have left a piece of my heart in each of the many, many places I’ve been to. In my opinion, you won’t find nicer, more open, helpful and positive people than in Texas!
I lived in Houston and I really loved this city and my lovely neighborhood. I loved to go for walks and meet people on my way. They were always nice and curious as to where I am from when they heard my accent. They were always interested in hearing more about my culture. I met met most of them almost every day when I was out jogging or going for a walk. Even if I didn’t even know most of their names, we could talk for hours and hours! Each person I have met has taught me something new.
Not only did I explore my neighborhood, but also the whole city. As I mentioned before, before I came here, I had read a lot of comments on social media about Houston. Most of them were that Hou is all about the NASA. Yes, that’s right, Houston is mostly known for the NASA Space Center. But this city has so much more to offer! I absolutely cannot agree with people who say that it is a boring city. Not at all! If you have great people around you, you have tons opportunities to have a good time!
Houston definitely became my second home. My host family became my second family. I was lucky enough to meet amazing people there who have changed me for the better, and who have become a part of my life. Every time when I was coming back to Houston from a trip, I felt like I was finally back at home. Could it be a better feeling than feeling safe and at home thousand miles away from your ‘real’ home? I don’t think so.
It has been over a month now since I came back to Poland, and I miss Houston very, very badly. Even the heat! And I have also started to plan my trip there to visit my host family and my friends! Texas, especially Houston, will always be deep in my heart and I would recommend living in this state to anyone who has the chance to! Thank you, Houston, for all those memorable and one-of-a-kind memories, which I have collected!