Hi there! Long time no see, but I’m back with an update about my life. A lot has happened since I wrote my last blog post about my travel month and saying goodbye to my host family…
Where do I start? Where am I now?
BACK IN GERMANY
As I’m writing this post, it’s been 260 days since I’ve had my last day as an Au Pair. I used to live in Washington D.C., and I took care of three adorable girls. But let’s start from the beginning….
Some of you might remember how I was talking about the difficulty of adjusting to life back in Germany, and how sad I was about leaving my life in the states behind. A life that I built in one year. Friendships that I developed in one year. Leaving my second family after living with them for one year. I was missing my host family, my friends, my home… I was missing everything! I was not even excited for the new chapter I was about to start in my life because all I wanted was to be with my host family and my ‘Au Pair life’ back. I did not know when I would see them again.
For the first few weeks (or even months) back home, I felt like no one understood the feeling of being homesick for a place and for people that I love just as much as my home in Germany, where I grew up and spent the majority of my life. People kept asking me: “How was your Au Pair year?”, and honestly, what do you answer to a question like that? You cannot summarize a whole year full of adventures, memories and emotions in only a few sentences. And even if you manage to do so, they can barely understand what you are talking about if they have not been in the same situation.
OFF TO UNI
After getting somehow used to living in Germany again, I finally started university in October 2018. I am currently studying in my second semester to become a teacher with my two majors English (of course) and political science. I feel like my love for the English language has grown a lot after speaking it 24/7 for a year. I always knew that I wanted to work as a primary school teacher one day, and I’m happy to be working towards that dream of mine.
I’ve made a lot of new friends – and even though university can be quite tough at times, especially exam season, it is super fun and exciting. I started to like this new chapter in my life. The same month I started university, I also started to work as a waitress, so I could earn some money on the weekend while studying during the week.
OLD HABITS DIE HARD
In November, I decided that I wanted to visit my host family as soon as possible. So I talked to them, and a few days later, I booked my flights for February 2019 to Washington D.C. I was super excited, as you can probably imagine, but I still had to wait another 4 months until I got to see them again!
A few weeks later, I got to see one of my best friends, Franzi, again because she came to visit me for a few days. We had a lot of fun and we were obviously looking back on some of the memories we had made together during our Au Pair year.
Then exam season came around the corner, and I have to say that I totally underestimated the amount of studying you have to do at university. It was nothing like my A-Levels. I had sleepless nights studying and preparing for all the exams that were coming up. I was super nervous and anxious, but in the end, it payed off because I passed almost all of my exams – which made me really happy. And during this whole time, I was looking forward to one day: February 23rd 2019.
BACK IN THE STATES
Once that day came around, I could not wait to finally hop on that plane to ‘come home’. I remember sitting on the plane thinking: “One and a half years ago, I flew out of Germany, crying, because I was scared to start this whole Au Pair journey and now I’m flying out of Germany again to visit a place that I now call „home“.’ A lot went through my mind in those 8 hours.
Once we landed in D.C. I could not hold back my excitement any longer. I knew I was home. After I went through immigration, which took forever by the way, I saw my host mom and my two younger host kids waiting for me. They have gotten so big, especially the baby. I gave them a big hug and I have to say that I usually don’t swear, but in this case I’ll make an exception and swear the minute I saw them, it felt like I had never left them.
But while everything was so familiar, it was also weird at the same time: Just seeing all the places where I used to go to all the time, being in the house where I used to live in, and seeing people that I knew such as neighbors or other parents. Weird.
The next morning, I got to see my oldest host kid again. I was playing with them all day long. The next two weeks, we would do a lot of fun stuff together, and I was enjoying my time to the fullest. I got to see my old community counselor and some of my old friends again. I even got recognized in a night club in D.C… crazy, right?
FAMILIAR YET DIFFERENT
I had the best time being back, but I also have to say that it felt so strange being with my host family again, because things were obviously different. I was not the Au Pair anymore, and it was not the same without my best friends Nele, Franzi and Hannah there. I once again started to miss the old times when I was still an Au Pair, but I guess you guys all know by now that I tend to get really emotional over things.
But I was incredibly happy that I got to spend two weeks with my second family and I was really sad to leave them again. But as I’ve already said a few months ago, I will for sure come back to visit them again.
NEXT STOP: PARIS
A few days after I came back to Germany, me and my friend booked a really spontaneous trip to Paris. We had an amazing time there and got really lucky with the weather. I love getting to know different cultures. If you would have asked me one and a half years ago if I would want to book trips and travel on my own, I would have told you: “Are you crazy? No way!”
Things are different now. Travelling has become one of my favourite things to do, and I even say it is my hobby… thanks to my year abroad, where I gained the confidence and independence to travel the world and discover new places.
FRIENDS, MEMORIES AND A SECOND HOME FOR A LIFETIME
And since I want to encourage other people to start their adventure of a lifetime, I became an ‘Ambassador’ for the German Au Pair agency AIFS, where I get to go to different events and presentations to talk about my experience as an Au Pair.
Now I’m looking forward to next month, because then I’ll get to see Nele, Franzi and Hannah again. Even though we have not seen each other in a while, we are constantly facetiming and texting each other. I still think about how grateful I am that I got to meet them and that we developed such a great and deep friendship.
All in all I can say that I’m happy to be back in Germany and I’m enjoying this chapter in my life. I know that it can be hard coming back home after being abroad for one year, but you will get over it after some time. But that does not mean that you can not miss your second home every now and then! I’m excited for my future and everything that is lying ahead of me. Great things are coming up! And to finish things off, here’s a little quote for you:
“And suddenly you just know that it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.”
Thank you s much for reading my post and for still following my journey! With love – Vanessa