jueves, 8 de octubre de 2015


As you might have noticed, I stopped writting on here a while ago. The thing is that I startet writting two blogs at the same time, this one and the Spanish version of it,but with time it just got harder and harder to keep up with both of them, so I decided to quit writing this one and to just keep the other one going. 

So if any of you Spanish speakers want to follow me, here is the link to my other blog:


viernes, 14 de agosto de 2015

Aupair Experience: Saying Goodbye

Good byes are always hard. Meeting up with your family or friends and saying bye for a pretty long amount of time is hard. I personaly hate goodbyes. Me being in the spotlight, hiding the tears when I feel like they want to come out... I. Hate. It. 

I already said my goodbyes to my best friends. One went on a trip to Brasil for the whole summer and won't be back until a few days after me leaving. So she was the first person who I had to say goodbye to. Then, the other just left for a whole month of non-stop traveling; she will come back 10 days after me leaving and I recently said goodbye to her. 

I also had a big lunch with my boyfriend's family last week. We all got together in my house and we all spent the day together. We ate lunch talked, had some drinks... And as a birthday/goodbye present they got me this amazing winter jacket for extremelly low temperatures (which I will be facing in France, as in the area where I will be living the temperatures go as low as -10ºC). That was our official goodbye; we will be seing each other more often, but that day we all got together for the last time.

And during this week I said goodbye to my aunts, my grandparents, to my cousins and to another couple of friends. 

These things can be hard, it can get scary thinking of not seeing them for a while and you might have to hold a few tears in. But remember you will bee seeing them soon, and that you are going away for a reason, and more importantly that you are going away because it is something you wanted to do. 

sábado, 1 de agosto de 2015

How songs can exactly define our feelings

I remember when my year as an exchange student in Michigan was going to end, and not only did I have to say goodbye to my host family and friends, I also had a boyfriend that I didn't even know if I would get to see again. We had plans to see if we would last together (while being separated by the distance) and if we did I would go back to Michigan for a year and see if things worked between us. Wel... exactly then Simple Plan came out with this song...

Like, really? Could it be more fitting to my situation? And then, Estrella Damm (a Spanish beer company who does these cool commertials with a song every year) came up with the following video. 

As you can probably guess, my relationship with that guy did not end well (which right now I couln't be happier of how things turned out, because things are very complicated on that side right now). But next summer I went back to Michigan to visit my host family; my brother and I went there and stayed with them for a whole month. Well... then, after we came back home Simple Plan (yeah, them again) came up with the following song.

And now you are probably thinking: "so... what?". Well I guess that all I am trying to guess is that nowadays when I hear those songs I can't stop thinking of those moments. When I hear Simple Plan's Jet-lag, all I can think of is hugging my now-ex-boyfriend in the airport and never wanting to let go. When listening to Summer Paradise I can't stop thinking of coming back from the summer in Michigan with my brother and not wanting to look back at my host mom because I didn't know when I would see her again. 

And I know that there will be a song this year that will be stuck in my mind forever together with the memories of my year as an aupair. And that is great, because you never know when you will end up hearing that song on the radio or in your car or when it will pop up in Youtube as a sugested song, and as soon as you listen to it your mind will be full of memories of those days.  

jueves, 30 de julio de 2015

Aupair Experience: Being an aupair while having a boyfriend.

I know I have mentioned it before, but I decided to make an entry about it. I have got a boyfriend and I am going to move to another country 1000km away for a whole year. We know it's crazy, we know it will be hard, but we are hopefull that everything will be okay.

First of all I need to tell you how much he has supported me through all of this and how necessary his support has been in order to make this choice.

We have been together for three years now, and I need to say that I told him about this plan long time ago. We met each other a year after I came back from the United States, where I spent a year as an exchange student and from the very begginig I told him about my plans to repeat the experience as soon as I finished college but somewhere in Europe and as an aupair this time. To be honest, at first he didn't like the idea of it very much, but back then we were just starting to date and as those were plans for the future we didn't talk much about it. 

At first, my plan was to go to Sweden (a country that has me completely in love with it since I went there for a week with my classmates as an exchange trip when I was 16) or to Germany. But as time went by, and as I had a boyfriend I decided to go to a country closer to home, and as a teacher knowing French will be more usefull for me than knowing German or Swedish, so, I decided to go to France.

So as time went by, we started to talk more about it and I must say that he has always been my biggest support though this process. He has never asked me to stay, he has helped me to get ready for the experience and he has made it very clear that even though he is sad about me leaving but that he will never make anything to stop this from happening. Whenever I am sad about us not being together for a whole year, he supports me and tells me that this won't break us up and that in fact we will come stronger out of it. 

He has accessed to me going to a country he clearly dislikes (I don't know why, but for some reason he really dislikes France), to visit me as much as he can and to sacrifice a whole year as a couple. 

If I tell you the truth, I know that this experience would be easier and more real if I had no boyfriend. I know I would be less nervous about it and that I would not be visiting home that much. All in all, everything would be easier. 

But I wanted to write this post for all those aupairs who decide to start this adventure while leaving your boyfriend or girlfriend back home; for you to know that it is possible, for you to know that you are not the only one. As the experience progresses I will write more about this topic and I will tell you if things go as we had expected. 

miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015

Aupair Experiences: Visiting my host family (part 2)

The next day we woke up at 9.30 in the morning, thanks to the alarm I had set up the night before (if not, we would have slept until noon and we would not have had time to spend with the family). We had some breakfast and as the kids were still sleeping and the adults seemed to have lots of things to do, we decided to go sightseeing in the city on or own. First, we had some breakfast to make up for the dinner we had the night before, so, for about 15€ we had some crêpes, a chocolate milkshake and a coffee in the terrace of a very nice cafe. 

We also bought some souvenirs to bring back home (a couple of bottles of wine and some souvenirs that we always bring to keep a family tradition going on) and we walked on the city looking of nice places to see; and I must say I am extremely glad my boyfriend was there with me, because if not, I would have gotten lost. 

We got to the house before 12 and we all met up around the pool again. We talked in a mixed language mae of French, English (which everybody could speak) and Spanish (which everybody except for the grandpa could understand and both the grandma an the aunt were fluent at). We also played with the kids and the oldest boy had great fun playing with me with the toys I had given him the night before.

I also had a minute to sit with the host mom to go through and sign the aupair contract. This was great as it was possible to go through every part and comment on them and answer every doubt we had.   

After that, and feeling a little bit afraid after the dinner we had the night before, we sat for lunch. And surprisingly for us we were served some pretty good food. First they served us some watermelon with ham (which I had never had before but that was not too bad) and after that they served chicken with potatoes, and that tasted really good! So we spent a couple hours eating, talking and laughing and with a full stomach we cleared up the table and did the dishes. 

But at around 4pm we packed everything up and started saying our goodbyes. The parents had a flight back home at 6pm and had to leave, and although we were told that we could stay a little longer, we decided to leave at the same time as the parents so that the grandparents and the kids could relax.

Overall, it was a very short visit, but they all were extremely nice to us and we loved the trip up there. This visit also was great as now I know that next month I will be much more calm when I move in with them and things will also be easier for the kids, as at least the oldest one will remember me and they will adapt to me more easily. 

Aupair Experience: Visiting my host family

3 more weeks and I will start working as an aupair! It's hard to believe that in less than a month I will pack all my stuff and moveto France. But this trip to visit my host family made it all much more real. 

As I mentioned in another post, my host family was going to go to Tarn (400km away from where I live) to visit some family members, so we made plans for my boyfriend and I to go visit them while they spent the weekend there.

On Saturday morning, we woke up early, got ready and got on our car at 8.30 starting our way to France. We had a 4 hour trip ahead of us. But we decided to take the trip with calm and to enjoy the stops on the way; as we had to stop to rest, to smoke and to use the restrooms the 4 hour trip ended up being a 6 hour trip, but we really enjoyed it. 

So finally, after a long but relaxed roadtrip we got to the house at around 2.30. My host parents had arrived with the little son (the big one had already been with the grandparents at their house for 3 weeks) at 12 so while giving them some time to stay with their family we got there relatively soon so that we could spend as much time as possible with them.

We parked our car and I sent my host mom a text message and in about 2 minutes she showed up at the door holding the little one in her arms. The grandma also came by to say a quick hello as she was going shopping with her daughter and her son's girlfriend. So, we entered the house and we said hi to my host dad and the oldest son, who were playing in the pool. My host mom inmediately showed us the house and the room where we were going to sleep (in the top floor of a three floor house right in the city, how amazing is that?).

After getting settled, we gave the host mom the gifts we had brought for the adults (some typical whine from my area and some typical sweets) and after that the host mom took my boyfriend and I on a tour around the city. Tarn is a small and beautiful city, we saw the city gardens, the new theatre and a huge cathedral that is in the middle of the city but which we could not see from the inside because they were celebrating a wedding.   

After an hour of sightseeing we sat and ordered something to drink, and as I already knew, getting drinks or food out in France is really expensive, at least compared to Spain:

A beer + 2 waters + an ice cream= 16.90€

So after a couple of hours of visiting the city we went back to the grandparents' house. There we met the grandpa, who was going to go to a winery with my host dad. They invited us to go with them, so we got in the car and went to the winery. The communication-channel we had in the car was pretty fun: the grandpa would tell the hostdad something in French, he would translate it to English for me and then I would translate it back to my boyfriend. We got to the winery and after trying some wines of the area and buying two boxes full of wine bottles we went back to the house. 

By the time we got to the house, everybody was there, my host parents, the two kids, the grandparents and even the aunts and uncle. We all sat by the pool and while talking they offered us something to eat: some watermelon, ham and bread with tomato and cuccumber. So the frist impression we had of the bread was pretty good, but we were not expecting what would come for dinner...

Before we had dinner, they fed the kids and were going to put them to bed, so I asked the mom and decided to give them the presents we had brought for them. With the youngest boy everything had been easy until then, he would let me hold him and he would easily start to play with me; but the oldest boy, although he did look at us with interest had been distant and I had decided to give him some space instead of pressuring him to talk to me. But when I gave him the presents, before he even took them, he hugged me and gave me a big kiss (sucha sweet little boy...). He loved the toys and after opening them and saying goodbye and kissing all of us goodnight, he went to sleep. 

And then came the dinner... we first got served something similar to cuscús with such strong taste that it was difficult for us to eat. And then they served us some meat with vegetables that looked amazing, but that we soon discovered that had been cooked with honey and that was hard to finish, even though we did eat it all. And for desert, we were served cheese, a delicious chocolate cake and the sweets we had brought for them. 

So feeling kind of hungry, but with the feeling of having spent a great day with my future host fmily, we went to our room and fell asleep inmediately after a very tiring but amazing day in France.

jueves, 16 de julio de 2015

Aupair advice: trust your gut

I heard this piece of advice somewhere and I couldn't agree more with it. 

When choosing a family trust your guts.

I will never address this enough, but trust me, when choosing a family trust your guts. On the very first e-mail you receive from the family you will be able to guess what kind of family you are talking to. 

While some families will write you a long e-mail, others will send you a simple cold message. While some families will describe themselves, others will simply talk about the job and what they expect from you. While some families will mention including you in the family life (huge plus for families), others won't mention it at all (kind of a red flag). So for you guys to see I will adapt the first message I received from my host family and let you know why I chose this family and why I liked them right away:

I will be calling the host mom Emily, the dad Jack and the kids Nate and Cooper (though those aren't their real names, obviously, as they are French, but I don't feel confortable with sharing any info about them, not even the names).

"Hi Enara,

Many thanks for your email. 
I will try to present you our family and the region where we live.

My husband, Jack and myself are both French, therefore we speak only French at home between us and the kids. 
We are both 37 this year. 

Nate is our eldest sun, he will turn 4 on September this year. Nate our baby, was born last June, he is now almost four months old. 

I am from ________ (her hometown). My parents are still living there. Therefore we go there for week ends quite often. 

Jack is from _____________ (his hometown). We also go there to visit his parents and family. 

Both my husband and myself are very busy at work which is why we need help at home with the kids. I will go back to work full time soon after maternity leave.
We decided to welcome au pairs at home because we think it is the best for us and the kids. It is indeed very important for us that there is a real relationship between our children and the persons who are looking after them when we are not at home. 
For instance we consider Cooper's nanny (who was Nate's nanny before) a bit like his third grand mother.

We live in an appartement of 110 square meters, with a 70 square meters terrasse and 350 square meters garden. It is in the countryside , therefore it is very quiet. 
You would have your own bedroom but you would have to share the bathrooms and toilets with the kids. 

There is no public transportation in the village where we live, that is why we have a car dedicated to our au pair.  
We live at ______________. (And she sent me a link with info about the town where they live, again, how much sweeter could she be?)
There are many foreigners in the region because of the international organizations based in _______ (another link with more interesting information).

The main train station is in ________________ at about 10 minutes from where we live. From there there are trains to main French cities (...). 
We also leave at 30 minutes drive from (...) airport. It is important for you to have this information if you plan to travel during week ends or during your holidays in Europe. 

During winter we are used to go skiing. the closest ski resorts are at 20 minutes drive in ___________, It is where Nate is learning to ski on Saturday mornings during winter as soon as there is enough snow. 
(link of the ski resort where they go)
As Cooper is obviously too young to ski I will do some walks in the snow with him. 

You will be able to take French lesson in ________. (And btw they will be paying for the classes!)
You will have to take a French test upon your arrival to be allocated to a class. 
(link to the webpage of the language school!)
During those classes you will have a chance to meet other au pair and get some friends to go out. 

We look for an au pair as from July/August 2015 for ideally 12 months. We need an au pair to pick up Nate from school at 16h30 and Cooper from his nanny at 16h45 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and look after them until 20h00. And on Wednesdays we need someone to pick up Nate from School at 11h30am and Cooper from his nanny just after and look after them until I come back from work. During the time you will spend with the kids you would have to play with them, cook their meal (very basic cooking), eat with them and supervise Nate in the shower or bath. We would ask you to help us with the simple daily housework: empty dishwasher, folding and put away laundry of the kids,.... We have a cleaning lady who is coming every week. 

We live at 2 kilometers from the school (2 minutes drive) and 3 kilometers (5 minutes drive) from Cooper’s nanny. You would have a car at your disposal which you could use any time during your time off as well. You could have most of your week ends free. We may just ask you from time to time some babysitting during the week in the evenings or during the week end on a saturday evening for instance. But this would always be planned well in advance. 
In total we would not ask you to work more than 30 hours a week which would represent about _____ euros a month as pocket money.

You will find attached pictures of the kids and of the apartment. We moved in only few months ago. 

Please let me know if you have questions, I would be very happy to answer them!

Thanks for taking the time to read my message and I hope to hear back from you soon!


This very first e-mail inmediatelly let me know what a wonderful family I had found, and when I met them I confirmed my theory.

But along the way I did get some simpler messages which did not give me the positive feeling this email did and that I decided tp , here goes an example:

"Hello nanny/aupair.

So I need an aupair as soon as possible, because my aupair must come back.

About my family, I live alone with my two kids, Gabriel, 6 and Leon, 4.

I need an aupair for before/after school, and sometimes for evening. Kids are at my house all monday and thursday and one week per two.

My aupair has her own room and share her bathroom with kids only.

We are an open minded family, friends often come at home, we love music, cinema and going out.

Can you talk about you? Your studies, your kid's experience..."

This doesn't mean that if I had kept talking to this last family they wouldn't have been a great family; I will never know. But I think first impressions are very important, and if a family takes the time to talk to you and explain everything they can about their life, their family and so on it is much more probable that they will take time to show you around once you get there and to make sure that you are feeling okay in their house. 

So overall, what I am trying to say is that you should really trust the feeling you get after reading those first e-mails.