Reader Story: How Angela Travels the World as an Au Pair

Angela walking in a snowy town
One of many greatest challenges for individuals is saving up for a world journey. It may be daunting attempting to save lots of 1000’s of in your subsequent massive journey. But I at all times say “Should you can’t save, go work.” The world has an abundance of jobs that vacationers can get. Hundreds of thousands of vacationers fund their journeys by working their approach world wide. At the moment, I need to profile one in all our neighborhood members who does simply that. Angela works as an au pair. This funds her around the world journey goals, let’s her keep in a spot longer, and get to know a tradition higher. At the moment we share her story and ideas for being an au pair.

Nomadic Matt: Hello Angela! Thanks for doing this. Inform us about your self!
Angéla:I’m Angéla and I’m 28 years previous. I used to be born close to Lyon, France, and am the eldest of 4 sisters. After graduating from college after I was 21, I began working as an au pair in Germany. I needed to get out of France and work with youngsters, so this was the right job! Seven years later, I’m nonetheless an au pair, at present in Japan! I really like what I do as a result of I get to journey and work with youngsters, the 2 issues I really like probably the most.

Have been you at all times concerned with journey? How did you get began?
Humorous sufficient, out of all my massive household (I’ve three different siblings and many cousins), I’m the one one who likes to journey lots! No one round me ever went overseas for various days, and particularly not very far-off. So I didn’t know a lot about touring, besides from watching films and popular culture.

I didn’t start touring till I used to be 21. I suppose it was as a result of I by no means did it that I needed to do it. I’d at all times dreamed of touring the world and seeing the locations I noticed within the films

How did you determine to grow to be an au pair?
It occurred seven years in the past after I was in search of a job in France and after discovering nothing attention-grabbing, I made a decision to take a look on the au pair factor. It sounded attention-grabbing — working in a foreign country and dwelling with a household. By being an au pair, I might have the ability to have a job, lodging, meals, a number of free time, and a few additional spending money. It was good. I may take pleasure in touring while not having some huge cash as a result of I may use the cash that I might earn throughout my keep. It lets me journey with out large financial savings.

In 2010, I discovered my first host household in Germany and stayed one 12 months with them. I beloved the actual fact I may work in a foreign country and use the free time to discover a brand new place. Plus, I get to work with youngsters on a regular basis, which is my subject of labor, so now I’ve amassed years of expertise. I used to be hooked after that first 12 months, and determined to do it once more as a substitute going again to France to search out one other job.

A Japanese castle

The place have you ever labored as an au pair?
I’ve been to Germany, England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden, and I’m at present in Japan. I keep from eight months to at least one 12 months in every nation. All of them have been nice experiences. I’ve been fortunate sufficient to stick with superb individuals, and everyone I met whereas touring has been tremendous good.

My favourite place has been New Zealand. It’s merely breathtaking! The landscapes are unbelievable. I can’t advocate it sufficient. Canada might be my subsequent favourite. It’s a comparatively secure nation to stay in, the individuals are good, and I really like the chilly winters. I bought to attempt ice fishing and completely beloved it!

How does somebody grow to be an au pair? Is it simple? Arduous?
I personally suppose it’s simple. Your principal job is to handle youngsters, so that you should be OK working with them, however aside from that, the duties are sometimes simple sufficient and you’ve got a number of free time. You’re employed on common between 25 and 30 hours per week. All of your weekends are free, as are the evenings as quickly as one guardian will get dwelling. Chances are you’ll be requested to babysit occasionally, although.

Every part is included once you stay with the household, so that you don’t have many bills. The one factor I paid for myself was my airplane ticket (though you will be fortunate sufficient to have a household that pays it for you). I by no means felt like this was a so-called “job” — extra like serving to out a household and being part of it.

To grow to be an au pair, you may both use au pair businesses or one of many web sites like Au Pair, Au Pair World, Worldwide Change, and Go Au Pair. With an company, you pay them they usually do the paperwork, present you totally different household profiles, and put you in touch with them. All alongside your keep, they’re in contact with you in case of any drawback. It’s like another job placement service.

On the web, there are quite a lot of web sites for au pairs. That is extra DIY. You create a profile, seek for households (they will seek for au pairs too), and if one catches your curiosity, you begin by sending a message, and from then, if each events get alongside, you get in contact by way of telephone, mails, Skype. There’s no third get together concerned. It’s between you and the household (so nobody is there if one thing goes improper). I’ve solely ever used these web sites, because it’s free for au pairs to affix, and I’ve at all times been fortunate in my searches for households.

What does somebody have to be an au pair?
Whereas it’s not mandatory, it’s good to have expertise with children, as a result of the households would possibly really feel extra assured in hiring you, however aside from that, you don’t really want a lot. Each household is totally different. Some will need you to have expertise and can ask for references; others don’t ask for something.

Angela posing near a mountain

What’s the largest problem?
I’ll say it’s studying the right way to stay with complete strangers. You’re in a model new nation, with individuals you don’t know, and also you’re going to spend six months to a 12 months with them. It takes some days for everyone to get used to one another and to understand how the household works. It’s worthwhile to be taught to just accept their way of life. Generally it may be actually totally different from what you’re used to, and it takes a while to simply be part of it.

Additionally the actual fact it isn’t your personal place is a little bit of a problem. Chances are you’ll stay there for a very long time, however on the finish of the day, it’s nonetheless not your home. I discover it at all times a bit laborious to faux it’s. For me, it’s my host’s dwelling. You may’t have friends such as you would in your personal dwelling. You hear the children enjoying, working all over the place on a regular basis, even in your days off. Generally the mother and father could depart the home a large number and it’s important to tidy it up, as a result of you may’t keep a day in such a large number any longer!

Personally, I’m actually easygoing and used to dwelling in any form of place with totally different individuals. I by no means felt that was a “problem” — from my first expertise all was clean throughout my stays. Possibly I discover it simple to get together with individuals, and don’t thoughts their way of life.

Is it laborious as a Westerner to get a job exterior of “the West”? I at all times thought Western au pairs solely labored in different Western nations.
It’s true [that Western au pairs are] principally in Western nations. In Japan, it isn’t widespread in any respect, particularly as a result of right here the mothers are sometimes stay-at-home mothers, in order that they don’t want one other particular person to do the job. Additionally, it’s of their tradition to not settle for a complete stranger taking good care of their very own children.

The few households I may discover in Asia have at all times been expat households. Usually one guardian bought a number of years’ contract with an organization and moved overseas, thus they know what the au pair factor is. In Nagoya, the place I’m now, I do know no less than three au pairs, however I don’t suppose we’re rather more than that. So if you wish to be an au pair, you’ll discover that a lot of the jobs are in Western nations.

Inform me about life as an au pair. What’s the pay like? How usually do you’re employed?
The pay relies upon primarily on the household and the nation you’re in. However my wage was normally 300-400 euros per 30 days. It appears to be the typical for an au pair working 25–30 hours per week.

The work principally consists of bringing the children to high school and choosing them up, serving to with homework, cooking and having dinner, bathing them, and getting them prepared for mattress. Some households could ask you to do home cleansing as well as (through which case you’re paid extra for that).

When the children are in school, you’re completely free. Most au pairs will take language courses, or do sports activities or different actions. I normally take a few of this time to prepare dinner dinner and clear the home (if wanted). Principally I attempt to hang around with mates or go to some locations close by. When in a rustic the place au pairs are fashionable, it’s very easy to fulfill up with them, as all of us have the identical free time. It’s a simple job in case you are good with children, delicate, and sensible. And particularly should you get alongside nicely with the household, there’s no drawback in any respect!

Mountains in Canada

What’s your one tip for individuals seeking to grow to be an au pair?
If it’s your first expertise as an au pair and also you don’t understand how you’re feeling being away from dwelling, my recommendation can be to start out in a rustic that’s close to your personal. That approach should you’re homesick, will probably be a lot simpler to return. And should you just like the expertise, you realize you’ll be prepared to start out once more farther away! I began in Germany, understanding that if something occurred I used to be simply few hours away from dwelling.

Apart from that, nothing particular, besides I can solely advocate it! It’s a actually good expertise dwelling overseas and a approach to get out of your consolation zone, as you’re going to stay for a number of months someplace completely new!

What’s been the largest lesson to date?
By no means suppose touring isn’t attainable for you. I had no publicity to it whereas I used to be rising up and would by no means have imagined myself a traveler, as I used to be very shy and introverted. I believe, in addition to stunning my household, I shocked myself after I went away. However once you go away, you notice how simple journey is and what number of alternatives there are on the market to make journey a actuality.

I believe that touring is an efficient alternative to find new elements of your self. It modified the best way I’m now. I really feel extra assured and extra open to speaking to strangers. It’s made me a greater me!

You’ve be touring for 7 years now. What’s your primary tip for brand new vacationers?
Be pleasant to individuals and be respectful of the nation you might be in. Respect is vital, and folks will settle for you extra in case you are overtly pleased and curious to be visiting their locations. Don’t choose. Be taught to pay attention.

After I was in Australia, I used to be informed quite a few occasions that French individuals there have been performing actually poorly, being imply to animals and disrespectful of individuals and the surroundings. I can’t perceive the sort of habits, and it made me ashamed and unhappy to be taught that. It’s so vital to point out respect and be type to these within the nation you might be visiting. You’re a visitor of their dwelling.


Angela bought a job working as an au pair as a way to fulfill her need to journey the world. When you may have restricted funds, discover a job like Angela and use your abilities or passions to earn cash and maintain you on the highway.

Hopefully, this publish will encourage you to suppose exterior the field a bit and determine methods to make use of your ardour and abilities to get on the market, escape the cubicle, and see extra of this world.

Grow to be the Subsequent Success Story

Certainly one of my favourite elements about this job is listening to individuals’s journey tales. They encourage me, however extra importantly, additionally they encourage you. I journey a sure approach however there are a lot of methods to fund your journeys and journey the world. I hope these tales present you that there’s multiple approach to journey and that it’s inside your grasp to succeed in your journey targets. Listed below are extra examples of people that discovered work abroad to fund their journeys: