The Au Pair Lifestyle

I'm always retroactive. Seriously, it's a problem. 

Two months after getting home from one of the most amazing summer's of my life, I'm finally getting around to organizing all my journal entries and photographs from my time as an au pair. For those that don't know (as I didn't this time last year), I'll do a basic rundown of what an au pair does. It's basically considered a cultural exchange of sorts.

A person, usually a woman but sometimes a man, between the ages of 18-30, will spend a certain amount of time with a host family in another country. The main duties of an au pair include looking after children, teaching the children a second language, and sharing experiences from their own lives and countries back home. It's a chance for everyone involved to learn more about different people and lifestyles. The bonus, as if it didn't sound wonderful enough already, is that often times, the au pair travels around the host country every weekend. A small income is given to the au pair by their host family weekly and that money covers (mostly!) train fares, hostel fees, and other travel expenses. While living with their host family, and au pair can be assured of free living and meals. My host family was exceptionally generous and every time we went out to dinner or on a mini vacation, my costs were also covered. So that's basically the jest of the job but if you have more questions, feel free to send me an email!

Moving on!

I found the most loving and fantastic host family in northern Italy. I know, Italy! I didn't even speak Italian (and really, I still don't)! After messaging with them and Skyping a few times, we new it was love. I boarded a plan to Bologna, Italy where I was picked up and my adventure began. 

What I'd like to do is go back, now that I have internet and my photos all in one place, and blog about my time with my host family and the amazing cities I saw over my 3 month stay. It will, of course, be all in the past tense, so maybe that ruins the point of blogging. Who knows? I mean, someone knows but better, who cares?? I kept a Tumblr account for this, but with that also, I failed. Anyone sensing a pattern?

Every few days I'll have a more detailed blog post up about how life was, the ups and the downs and the crazy in between, and how I can't wait to go back and visit my host family again!

Moody Days in Chicago

I haven't used this blog in quite awhile. In fact, while I was in Europe, I totally thought I would. (Joke's on me.) But now that I'm back in the States, I'm debating whether to retroactively blog about my au pair experience or let bygones be bygones. For now, I'll be in the present. 

My brother came out from Idaho to spend a week with us and of course, being as I love the city, I dragged his poor self to Chicago for mostly selfish reasons. We spent almost four hours in the Museum of Science and Industry and then worked our way over to the Willis Tower because glass box suspended over the city! As the sun was setting on our day, I fell in love with the warm sunset on the last days of summer. A bit far from my normal editing style, I wanted to capture the glow and shadows on the crip architecture of Chitown. 

I'm a girl of the countryside at heart, but there's something so beautiful about walking down streets full of strangers and noise. The bustle of dozens of stares and people briskly making their way home; it's almost welcoming.

Travel Day No. 3

The last few days of our trip was spent talking with my grandparents and great uncle and learning more about my family's history. We had lunch at Harbor Lights, a great restaurant in Rushton Way right on the water, and then visited my (Great) Uncle Jim in Tacoma. One large event I learned about was my great-grandfather's time on the USS California after Pearl Harbor.

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