Thursday, July 30, 2009

And so it began...

When I really think about, I guess the idea popped into my head the summer after my freshman year of college when I was working as a nanny. I was living in San Francisco four days a week and getting paid to go to the zoo, swimming, and out to eat. I was making enough money to not be over draft every five seconds and best of all, I had a boyfriend who came out at least once a week so that we could spend fabulous nights out in the city by the bay. What could be better? Then one day, I took the kids across the street for a play date and was greeted by a tall blonde bombshell with a Swedish accent. She was doing everything I was…accept she was 5000 miles away from her home country. While I was complaining about the 45-minute commute over the bay bridge one day a week, she was attempting to figure out how to buy a ticket for a 25-hour flight home. I watched her attempt to pack her life back into two suitcases (and after she couldn’t, graciously accepted a pair of really cool diesels in order for her to make room) and for some reason I was hooked.
Fast forward three and a half years later. Sitting in a theater during the second twelve-hour day of tech in which I was doing jack shit. While facebook stalking (like I do) I began looking at a friend’s profile who was off teaching English to little French kids while living it up in the city of love. Commence google search: aupair. After an hour of looking at families in France, Spain, and Italy, I was called to actually do something at tech hell and my aupair dreams were set aside.
Spring Break 2009 – A moment that fills most students with excitement as well as their inner party animal. For me there was just one thing hindering that rush of adrenaline – I was about to graduate from a four year university, (having already taken five years,) and still had no idea what I was doing with my life. As a drama major I had decided that moving to New York, living in LA, or even attempting to make a living as a “working actor,” was not for me. And as they say: those who can’t, teach. Enter my eight year plan – not, five, and not ten, but eight.
My eight-year plan was simple and included all the basics. Graduate, take a year off, get a teaching credential, go to grad school, get a career, get a husband, have a kid or two, get a dog and be happy for the rest of my life. Only problem (yes I truly believed there was only one) – what was I going to do in that year off? The beginning of the plan to solve my life was completely...well...unplanned!
I decided to sit down with my dad and discuss what I had told no one about before – how would he feel if I left for a year and traveled 5000 miles away to live with a family I had never met? Reason #582 why I love my dad - “Do it. You’ve got nothing to hold you back and you’ll regret it if you don’t.”
I got serious about finding a family, registering with an AuPair sites, and actually researching visas. And soon I found a family. It’s weird to think that four years ago, without knowing it at the time, my year off was decided by a Swedish girl whose name I don’t remember, but whose shoes I still have.


  1. That is so amazing! What courage that must have taken!

  2. That is awesome! I wish I would've been that brave when I was your age.

  3. Fantastic post! this is a really great story! And your lucky to have such a cool supporting father. :0)

    Stopping by from sits.
    Anita Hamilton

  4. amazing!! my dad was very supportive when I said I wanted to be an exchange student. Iwill always be grateful to him for that!

  5. My family hosted a Japanese exchange student when I was about 6. I can't remember her name, but she always folded these wonderful origami cranes for my sister and I. Reading this really brought back some of those memories!

  6. What an awesome story! I really wish travel was stressed more to American kids & growing up it was something they desired to do. I think travel changes you so much & there's no education that can compare to it. I'm glad you took the plunge!

  7. Wow! What an amazing experience. Who knows just what random encounters will shape our lives in the future. Kudos to you for moving so far away to work in a different country and culture!


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