Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How I Got to This Point

I shared a bit here about how I got to where I am now (a.k.a. Europe). But I have had so many friends ask me about it that I figured I would share a little more!

What I wrote in my journal when everything fell into place.
In my sophomore year of college, I talked with someone about their au pair experience. It sounded like an awesome way to travel the world while making a bit of money. I told my parents about it but they shot down the idea pretty fast. "That's not the best idea." "You need to look for a job when you graduate college." All reasonable responses. So I basically forgot about it.

Fast forward to my first semester of senior year. I was in a fourth grade class for my teaching experience. And I absolutely hated it. I felt like nothing I did ever brought about the same joy I had for teaching I used to have. It was a very frustrating semester for me. Especially because teaching was all I had ever wanted to do. I talked to my mom all the time about it and she knew I was unhappy. Towards the end of the semester, I stumbled upon an au pair website and decided to make an account. I immediately found multiple families I thought I could work for and sent the links to my mom. "I made the mistake of making a profile on an au pair website." Her response? "Pretty cool." It wasn't a "No way" like I was expecting.

I took that "pretty cool" as a green light and started sending emails to families. After a couple of weeks of searching, I found the family I am with now. They were looking for someone for the fall, so I had plenty of time to save money. I would also be back in time to start applying for jobs for the next school year. My parents were totally supportive. (Obviously my parents' opinions mean a great deal to me.)

I sure miss those sweet kids!
In January of this year, I started my full-time student teaching. I loved the school, my mentor teacher, my students, everything. It was a welcome relief after my previous semester. But I was still seriously considering going to France. I began applying for elementary schools while still pursuing the au pair experience. I was just praying God would make it clear which option was the right choice.

At the beginning of February, I was offered a job teaching at an English summer camp in Modena, Italy where I studied abroad the year before. My friend Rachel had already accepted the job. I accepted it immediately because 1) I would be able to stay with my host family, 2) I could go back to Italy, and 3) when would I ever get an opportunity like this again?!

The only problem was that I needed something to fill in the summer between Italy and France. I could not afford two flights to Europe. I needed to get to Europe in May and stay there until December. I began looking for summer au pair jobs.

At the beginning of March, a family in Spain officially offered me a job. The start date was at the end of my time in Italy and the end date was the day before my time in France. The Lord was lining up the dates perfectly! I knew at this time that I was going to Europe. There was no way I was going to turn down this amazing experience that God had just placed in my lap.

So on March 12, I booked my flight to Europe! Rachel and I decided to travel together for a few weeks before Italy. We left a week after graduation and I haven't looked back!


It has been a crazy adventure so far. There have been some challenging times, but most of it has been wonderful. It's more than anything I dreamed I would be doing after college. This is the chance of a lifetime and I'm so grateful I was given this opportunity! There are less than 100 days left of my time here and you better believe I am going to be living it up as much as I can!

1 comment:

  1. thats so awesome!! I hope you are having a great time in Italy! cannot wait to hear more about your adventures!!

    I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

    I am visiting from Casey Leigh's link up.



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