• Advice
Posted September 6, 2019

Letter to a Future Au Pair

My advice—and greatest hopes—for all aspiring au pairs

By Marie-Louise Deutschmann

Dear future au pair,

 

Right now, you feel this tingling in your fingers—the racing heart, this little voice in the back of your head that scares you a bit.

 

Moving to the US. All by yourself. Everyone would be scared but not even half of the people you know would dare to do that.

 

It is a big step. A huge step. A step that will make you fear to fall. But what if this step—this one step that seems so incredibly big right now—what if it is just the first step on your runway?

 

There are so many things to remember, to know, and to think of. There are hacks, tips and tricks. Survival guides and helpful handbooks. I won’t be able to tell you what this year is going to be like. But there are things I want you to know. Things I truly hope for you to happen.

 

I hope you will be able to find joy when it doesn’t feel like it. I hope you will cross out everything on your bucket list and even add some new things. I hope you will find a couple of friends that truly appreciate you. Just the way you are, without hesitation. If they don’t, then they aren’t your friends. Be around people that make you happy.

 

I hope you will travel alone so you can explore how wonderful, fulfilling and exciting it is to be independent.

 

 

I hope that you stay a little soft. Don’t get hurt by the things people might assume about you. They don’t know your culture, your background, your story.

 

I hope that you will be the person that never shies away from the depth of their feelings or intensity of their hope. Embrace the full spectrum—it’s all a part of you. I hope that this experience sounds like a never-ending love song to you. With all its highlights and downfalls.

 

I hope you stop along your journey and take a look around. Don’t be too busy only focusing on that trip. That night out. That flight home. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, think about your experience here. Think about the people you met, the food you tried, the feeling you had. Then open your eyes and make sure to catch every little glimpse possible.

 

I hope that this year is just the beginning. That from now on, you want to explore more. More

adventures, more freedom, more happiness.

 

I hope that you will struggle. Realize that life isn’t always as easy as it might seem to be. I wish that you work through it and be a little stronger afterwards. There will be days when you will be covered in tears. When life is just too hard, this year is too long, your loved ones are too far away. In moments like that you need to remember why you came here.

 

Remember why it’s worth it.

 

I hope that you trust yourself the most. Trust your guts. There is a reason why you are feeling

this way. I hope that you learn that different doesn’t mean wrong. I hope that you can travel to a place you never knew existed. Explore the culture you never heard of, the food you never tried, the people you never met.

 

I hope you always leave a little piece of yourself in the place you just discovered. I hope you put your phone down. Some moments simply can’t be captured on camera. I hope that you appreciate every moment. Even if you just dip your French fry in a milkshake.

 

I hope that you keep your expectations low. You won’t be able to visit every city, every state, every national park. Don’t be disappointed—you can always come back. This here is just the beginning.

 

 

I hope you can discover yourself. Be honest. Who are you now? Who do you want to be? What can you do to get there? You can only achieve your goal if you dare to have one.

 

I hope that you will be who you needed when you were younger. When you were struggling. When you felt alone. I hope that you will love yourself exactly as you are, and not for what you think you should be.

 

I hope you can embrace your own opinion. Ask if you don’t agree with something, explain if you feel misunderstood. There is no right or wrong opinion—it’s a collection of personal stories, background history and points of interest. Be open minded and accept that not everyone will agree with you.

 

I hope that you will always change, grow and learn.

 

I hope that you will go the extra mile. Give the extra smile. Forgive an extra time. I hope that you will be brave. Even if you struggle with English. When the words seem to be too tricky and long. Make the effort, it will be worth it. It needs to be hard until it becomes a little bit easier with every tiny step.

 

I hope that you will be the person that other people enjoy having around. I hope that you inspire them and that they make you shine. I hope that you will feel comfortable. Even if you have a hard time settling in, getting around, accepting yourself. I hope that you will speak up for the things that are important to you. I hope that it won’t be perfect. You will find obstacles and things you don’t agree with. Find a way to influence it for the better. No one will remember a perfect story, but they might keep the funny, real, exciting story in mind.

 

I hope that your smile will make every stranger see the good in people.

 

I hope that you realize that it’s your journey. If you want to take it’s slow, that okay. Walk at your own pace. One day at a time.

 

I hope that you will dare to ask that one question, the one thing you are unsure about. Otherwise the answer will always be no.

 

I hope that you will be generously happy.

 

I hope that you will sit in the plane and be overwhelmed with gratitude. Realize that that’s your life, your decision, your chance.

 

You only get to do it now. Create a story you will be proud to tell.

 

Sincerely,

Marie-Louise Deutschmann


My name is Marie-Louise! I’m from the beautiful and tiny country of Austria. I live as an au pair in Massachusetts and take care of 2 adorable kids—a 5-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. I’m passionate about traveling and recycling!

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