15 October 2018

France 2012/ 2013

Looking back to the day I decided to take a step forward, I was really excited about going to France. Surfing the Internet doing research, checking out the pictures of the city I was going to, got me excited. I didn’t really know what to expect from this new experience, yet the thought of going to Bordeaux was making me eager and very curious of how my life was going to be changed. However, the thought of leaving people I loved was a paralysing feeling and it brought me to tears many times before I went there.

The idea of leaving my country and all of my friends, was one of the most difficult and probably the bravest decision I have made in my life. The two dominant emotions that were filling my heart before going to France were excitement and fear. Fear of not being able to see my family and good friends who I had been spending a lot of time with every week. I just couldn’t imagine the weeks without sharing moments with them and the common passion for many things that were connecting us. However, at the same time, I was feeling so excited as I knew that there was more to discover and by being brave I had opened the door to new opportunities. I was looking forward to meeting new people, working on my language skills, getting to know the French culture, cuisine and exploring something new.

I remember that one of the main thoughts that was guiding me at that time was “ Do not be afraid, launch out into the deep”.

I spent almost a year in Bordeaux and I can definitely say that it was an invaluable and unforgettable year and I found this experience to be a great life lesson.

Moving to Bordeaux in 2012 with the intention to work as an au- pair and look after three girls made a huge impact on my life. It did not take too long for me to realise that I was in the right place at the right time. I was the 8th and the last au-pair in my host family’s home. During that time I learnt a lot about myself and others. I lived with this amazing family, and I truly loved all of them in such a short time and I still do, even if we are unable to see each other too often. I was really surprised that my heart was filled with so much love for them, as obviously we did not know each other for too long, we were all running everyday life styles with various obligations, sometimes we had to deal with misunderstandings caused by different habits, cultures, points of view etc. I realised that this could be a barrier in our relationship. However, I have learnt that when our hearts are filled with a serving and helping attitude, we can offer others more than we expect and in addition, we are able to experience our hearts’ transformations, become more humble, which in the end gives us so much joy! This happened to me over in France.

The opportunity to meet and share a common experience with other au-pairs was such a huge blessing for me. I met many open-minded people and most importantly I made a few good friends for life. Each of them taught me something valuable that I keep in my heart and mind and I apply it in my own life – I am so, so grateful for that. It is amazing that whenever we see each other after a long time, we have so many topics to talk about, I am really thankful for this!

Living abroad helped me to appreciate more those who have been present in my life even if only for a short period of time, it is so important to nurture and let grow these relationships. The circumstances change and you never know where you’ll be living in 5 years, so live here and now. You will find out that some of your friends will always be there for you – the distance and little contact will not negatively impact your friendship. However, you might be disappointed that you are no longer on the same wavelength with some people as going through different experiences might change your points of view on life. One thing is certain, live here and now, keep your eyes and ears wide open, appreciate what you have and don’t be afraid of being brave.