25 years ago, I had just started my final semester of high school. I knew I wanted to go to college to get my degree, but I wanted to take a break first. I wanted to travel, and my main goal was to improve my language skills. I had decided to take one year off before I started college. I knew I did not want to go abroad to college, because I could not afford that and neither could my parents. I wanted to work and I wanted to work abroad.
For months on end I had been doing my research. In the early 90s that meant going to the library, getting books on studying and working abroad and figuring out what organizations were out there. Long hours of reading, then calling different organizations from a landline telephone requesting materials and brochures. It was an exciting time.
I settled on becoming an Au-Pair in the US. An Au-Pair is a live-in nanny. You work for a family and take care of their children. The program I joined would place you with a family, you’d get room, board, a small salary and your family would pay for two classes of your choice at a local college or other education program pr. semester. You committed to one year.
I was placed with a family in Pennsylvania and had one of the most rewarding years of my life.
That year abroad in the US eventually led to the life I am living today and I am forever grateful for that. My advice to young people out there who’d like to travel is to have a goal, do your research, find out what you can do safely and legally and then go for it. While it’s scary and risky and all of those things, it is also the most rewarding experience to see other countries and learn about other cultures.
For me, it was by far the most important and life-changing experience I ever made.
Till next time.