My very first adventure: Au Pair USA - Bus 142

My very first adventure: Au Pair USA

I can’t quite remember when this willing to travel first came to me. I just remember that one day someone asked and I replied instantly: my life dream is to travel the world!
And I had never been on a plane. I had to do something about it.

I already knew that if I wanted to travel, I’d have to make it happen.
I wasn’t born in a rich family who could afford a expensive graduation trip, nor Disneyland, a sweet-16 party or New York at New Eve’s.

My options seemed limited and my dream far from becoming reality.
And that’s precisely when you must be strong, focused and not give up.
Wanna a piece of advise? Keep researching a lot.
Travelling is easier than it looks like.

You can find great – and inexpensive! – ways of travelling, like cultural exchanges or maybe exchange your skills for accommodation around the world!

For me, what feel from the sky – actually from Seattle, by a friend’s recommendation – was the au pair program.

Com o Jimmy, em Seattle. Mas não foi ele o amigo que me inspirou a ser au pair!

With Jimmy, in Seattle. But not the friend with the au pair recommendation!

Au pair? What are you talking about?

That was exactly what my mom asked me. And if you also don’t know what that is, let me tell a little bit about it:

Au pair is a French term that means “equal”. In practical terms, is a cultural exchange program where you life with a host family while you take care of their kids and do some house choirs and also receive a small payment and scholarship.
But what’s really amazing about it is that you dive deeply into a different culture and get to do things you would never dream about doing while just visiting a destination – I mean, you actually live that country’s culture and routine.

What are those things you get to do, you ask? Like watching a 5th grade baseball game and go to the celebration party after, which consists basically in an ice cream party. Or going to church on Sundays e witnessing how beautiful the kid’s choir can be – just like in the movies! Or cooking with ingredients you never heard before, but just go for it. Going to the public library (yes, I really love them!); learning the schedule for TV shows; opening a bank account; going to the post office to get the new collection stamp. Those are the simples, little things that make you learn a lot!

E também decoração de cookies, por motivos de "ta nevando e não pode sair de casa"

Also: cookie decorating because it’s snowing outside and you can’t leave the house

The au pair program is very common in the United States and some European countries.
So I researched a lot, read a thousand blogs, talked to some people who had done it before and decided I would give it a try! I can remember it just like it happened the other day, but 8 years had passed!
In March 2008 I traveled toward Virginia, USA, to live with an amazing and happy family – that you can see in the picture below.
I had 12 amazing months, filled with great trips, new flavours, funny accents, concerts, grocery shopping, museums, school plays…

Quão estilosos somos?

How cool are we?

My first adventure reshaped how I see life. That’s when I realized: this whole world is actually a neighborhood, hm?

My travelling dream came true, and eversince, I didn’t stop travelling anymore.
When I look back I can only say one thing: this was the best decision I’ve ever made!

What about you? What was your first adventure?

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  • Reply
    Luciana Salles
    Friday October 7th, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    ai mari eu tenho esse sonho de ser au pair fracassado em mim por motivos de grana :/ mas quam sabe um dia né, nuca é tarde!

    • Reply
      Mari Guedes
      Friday October 7th, 2016 at 08:46 PM

      Lu, essa viagem foi uma das coisas mais importantes que eu já fiz por mim na vida. Eu recomendo pra todo mundo! É claro que o aprendizado nunca é o mesmo, mas poder experimentar uma outra cultura nessa intensidade é demais. Recomendo bastante, e se precisar de qualquer dica, só me chamar aqui 🙂
      O aupair é o programa de intercâmbio mais barato que existia (pelo menos na época que eu fiz), e esse foi um dos motivos de eu te-lo escolhido também. Você banca passaporte e visto e uma taxa que, em 2008, era em torno de U$600. O resto é sua host family que paga. Então achei bem factível! Dá uma olhada com carinho, parece que a data limite pra embarcar é 26 anos 😉

  • Reply
    Flávia Donohoe
    Saturday October 22nd, 2016 at 07:05 PM

    eu quase fui au pair, talvez minha vida seria outra, não tinha condições de pagar pelo programa, então arrumei um estágio e logo depois juntei dinheiro pro meu intercâmbio. Até hoje leio blogs de au pair, me dá uma nostalgia de algo que nunca vivi. Beijos

  • Reply
    Josiane Bravo
    Tuesday October 25th, 2016 at 09:29 PM

    Você também foi au pair, que máximo. Eu fui au pair nos Estados Unidos durante 2 anos e para mim, foi a experiência mais marcante da minha vida. Voltei no ano passado, e acredita que até hoje ainda lembro de cada segundo que vivi na terrinha do Tio Sam. Au pair me transformou totalmente, aprendi tantas coisas que parece que 2 anos nos EUA foi o equivalente a minha vida toda. Hoje, sofro com a readaptação no Brasil e já estou querendo ser au pair de novo kkkkk, mas dessa vez, na Holanda 🙂

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