Memories Abroad love to share our latest adventures and tips with you but this time we thought we would ask some fellow Au Pairs about there experiences being in the US and traveling in their own time. We have chosen seven lucky girls to be featured in our post. We asked them all the same questions and here they are.
Photo Courtesy of Marion, LAX Airport
Who are you? (Name, age, home country, state you live now)
- My name is Sara Palomo, I’m 22 years old and I’m from Mostoles, a city in Madrid, Spain. I’m currently living in Alexandria, Virginia, but I have lived in Boulder, Colorado, with my first host family; and in Woodmere, New York, with my second host family.
My name is Stephanie Manero, I’m 25 and I’m from Mexico. I’ve been living in Virginia as an au pair for a year and a half.
My name is Marion but my host family and my American friends call me Mary. I’m 23 years old (which is not so common for au pairs), and I live in the north of Seattle. Before I came here I was living in Vorarlberg, Austria.
My name is Antonia (19), I’m from Germany and right now I live in North Carolina.
- My name is Ilonka and i’m 23. Originaly i’m from the Netherlands and now I live in the state Georgia.
- My name is Sara Pezzotta, I’m 26 and I’m from Milano, Italy. I live in Jacksonville, Florida.
My name is Sabrina, I am 20 years old and I am from Austria. I’m currently an Au Pair in Fulton, Maryland and I’ve been here for more than 5 months now.
Photo Courtesy of Antonia, stand up paddle board on Lake Norman, North Carolina
Why did you want to become an Au Pair?
Sara Palomo – I wanted to be an au pair because of a lot of reasons. First of all, I needed a change in my life. I withdrew from college to follow a dream. I tried to get into another college, so I could study what I wanted to, but I didn’t get to do it -in that moment, I didn’t give up yet- and that made me feel very sad. It seemed like everything was going wrong, so I decided I needed a change. This was the perfect change. The second reason was that one of the dreams of my life was to come to the USA and living here, learn about the culture, discover new places. The third reason was because I wanted to experiment with what it was like to leave my comfort zone and live far away from my family and friends. This is the furthest I found, the last one was because I wanted to improve my english, of course.
Stephanie – To be honest I wanted to become an au pair to improve my English, and also to improve my skills about dealing with people from all over the world. I also decided that because being outside your comfort zone makes you learn a thousand new things and also you learn how to be with yourself.
Marion – I always enjoyed taking care of kids, it started when I was around 12. That’s also the reason I had so many hours of childcare experience. The kids are of course not the only thing but the most important one. The Au Pair program is a great opportunity to improve your english skills and to get to know another culture. And one more thing is traveling! I always wanted to travel through the United States and this is the best opportunity for me.
Antonia – I really love kids and I didn’t want to go to college straight after school!
Ilonka – Back at home my Aunt and Uncle used to have an Au Pair. So I would see their experience. It was a experience that really took my interest. Also I wanted to see something of the world and improve my english skills.
Sara Pezzotta – I wanted to be an au pair because I wanted to travel outside Europe and visit the States. I also wanted to improve the languages I’ve studied and graduated in while in University and experience another culture.
Sabrina – I wanted to see the american way of life, I know everybody says that, but I really wanted to see the cultural differences. I like to travel and I’ve always been traveling a lot. Therefore being free and enjoying the freedom of the United States, was another big reason for me. Obviously I like kids and I love how much they are actually giving you back. I just get one year with them, but I can influence and inspire them their whole life, same thing with my life.
Photo Courtesy of Antonia, Parasailing in Ocean City, Maryland
What has been your favorite state you traveled to and why?
Sara Palomo – I think my favorite state was New York, because of Manhattan. I was born and grew up in the capital of my country, so I need the rhythm of the city in my life. Manhattan is such an amazing city. As you imagine, living in New York, I’ve been there a lot of times. The first time I went there, I was so impressed that I couldn’t even react. The second time, I fell in love with it. I fell in love so hard that I have more trips planed to the city, and I would love to extend there.
Marion – My favorite State so far was California. It was amazing and I definitely have to go there again. I have only been to Los Angeles so far but my next trip will be to San Francisco. Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Everything is so perfect and I think that’s the reason why the people there want to be perfect as well. Now I really understand them, it’s like you’re in a movie.
Antonia – This is so hard! I would probably say Maryland because of the gorgeous beaches, the climate is perfect and you are pretty close to cities like Washington D.C.
Ilonka – Well… I did not do much traveling yet. So a favorite state is difficult to say. I think I will choose South Carolina. We went on a host family trip to the grandparents, and I saw my first ‘real’ american collage campus. It was really fun to see.
Sara Pezzotta – My favorite state I’ve traveled to is Florida (I’ve been in a lot of places!) but I loved Georgia as well.
Sabrina – I really liked Florida and California, I like the beach, palm trees and the sunny weather. I also really liked Boston, it’s an awesome city with a very good spirit. Moreover I like Washington, DC, it’s a very pretty city and it is very unique. If you’re in DC you should really check out Georgetown, enjoy all the young people and the spirit there.
Photo Courtesy of Antonia, Toronto, Canada
What has been the most exciting activity you took part in while in the States?
Sara Palomo – The most exciting activity was on a Wednesday night at the karaoke in Boulder. All the LCCs in Boulder used to make meetings voluntary at a starbucks, that is five minutes away walking from the karaoke. When the meeting was over, all the au pair group used to go to the karaoke. It is as simple as amazing, I loved it so much, I miss it!
Stephanie – It’s hard just to choose one, but I would said when a friend and I went to the renaissance festival and participated in the joust, it was like being a knight for the day and a dream that was coming true.
Marion – The first thing I can think of was a roller-disco at halloween. Everyone was dressed up so crazy and the americans are really creative with their costumes so it was amazing to see this. Also the combination of a disco and a roller rink was something I’ve never seen before. We had so much fun and I also got to know a few girls from the University of Washington. I always call them “Bonnie the Cow”, “Melanie the Doughnut”,because they were dressed up like that and we still laugh about it.
Antonia – Taking surfing lessons in Charleston, South Carolina!
Ilonka – For my birthday my host parents gave me a zip lining experience, and I could take a friend with me. It was really scary at first, because i’m afraid of heights. But at the end it was really fun to do.
Sara Pezzotta – I can’t really pick only one exciting activity I’ve done while in the States! I’ve experienced so many things in two years. Probably visiting the places I’ve always wanted to see in person. One thing that was on my bucket list and I think was great though is Ultra music festival in Miami during last Spring break.
Sabrina – I don’t have one super exciting event, in my opinion, the whole opportunity of being and living here is exciting! I already learned and experienced so much, I couldn’t pick out one event or one special day. Maybe I can do that in a year, when I’m back home and when I have had time to think about everything that’s happening. At the moment I’m literally living and enjoying every moment. I try not to worry and see the positive side of life here.
Photo Courtesy of Antonia, Charleston, South Carolina
Have you ever traveled on your own before being an Au Pair?
Sara Palomo – Never! I used to travel with family or friends, but never completely by myself. It’s the greatest adventure in my whole life!
Stephanie – I never traveled completely on my own, but I traveled around my state as part of my job on television.
Marion – Yes, I did an Interrail Tour two years ago. The countries I visited were Italy, France and Spain. It was the best time of my life and I met so many people in this month of traveling.
Antonia – Never, so this was a big step!
Ilonka – I never traveled on my own before being an Au Pair. I always went with a friend or family.
Sara Pezzotta – I’ve never traveled alone before, I was always with my family or group of friends or another person. But here in the States I’ve also explored places by myself.
Sabrina – I did, I’ve been to Spain with some of my friends and we did some road trips in Austria or southern Germany. Moreover I did an internship for 3 months in another part of Austria, so I lived alone there. I was really experienced with traveling, I guess that’s another reason why it is so easy for me to just do some weekend trips now.
Photo Courtesy of Marion, Venice Beach, California
Have you visited a State that wasn’t on your Must-See List and you love now? And why?
Sara Palomo- Actually, where I live! It wasn’t on my list coming to Virginia, and I ended up here in my second rematch. I can’t feel more grateful for being here. And not only for my Host Family, you know… Virginia is for L
VERS! It’s just amazing, everything around is so natural, full of forests and wild life, it is the perfect combination between nature and city, and Washington D.C. is very close to here. Alexandria is such a beautiful old town… I don’t know how to explain how much I love where I live.
Stephanie – I have to admit I wasn’t expecting anything from Virginia, but when I came to live here I found out what an amazing place it is. First I love to have different seasons, cause where I live it’s the same weather almost all year, my favorite thing is the snow in the winter. Second the parks you can visit are taken out of a dream, like Great Falls Park, the views are amazing. And finally because the people here are amazing, warm and welcoming, they make you feel like home.
Marion – Yes! Actually Seattle is one of the States that never was on my Must See List and now I live here and I love it so much.
The people are amazing and so helpful, the state has mountains, woods, beaches and the city. Before I came here my hostdad told me “You’ll have the best of both worlds.” There is so much to do and Seattle offers great opportunities for everyone. And for me it’s also perfect because California, the state I fell in love with is only a few hours flight away.
Antonia – Actually the state I live in now. Before I came here I had barely heard of North Carolina but it is one of my favorites by far now! It is warm, you have the coast on the one side, mountains on the other and I live at a beautiful lake.
Sara Pezzotta – A state that wasn’t on my must see list was actually Florida. I’ve always wanted to visit New York or California but I absolutely love this state! I’ve lived here for almost two years and I can call it home. I love the weather (it’s always summer!) but especially the warm hospitality typical of the South.
Sabrina – I’ve just been here for 5 months, therefore I didn’t have the time yet to do that. I mean I’ve already been to 15 states, but I always went there because I wanted to go there. Once I’m running out of wish destinations, I really wanna see some places I’ve not been planning on. Nevertheless, I didn’t know that the Shenandoah national park in Virginia is so stunning. You should really check it out, it’s is so worth it! We did a spontaneous trip on a Sunday and I wasn’t expecting it to be that awesome.
Photo Courtesy of Marion, Seattle Pier
Photo Courtesy of Marion, view of Seattle Waterfront