When I tell people I’m from California, they give me a look that says “oh girl, you must be freezing.” Surprisingly though, I’ve been loving the weather — this is the first time I’ve really witnessed the changing of seasons.
As I say goodbye to the colorful leaves and welcome the snow, there are some exciting changes happening to me as well. While I have been having a fantastic time meeting new people and traveling, I haven’t been completely forthcoming about my experience in Venlo. There were some aspects of my living situation and work load that I found uncomfortable.
After talking with other au pairs, some friends and family, and doing a lot of self-reflection, I decided to search for a new host family. Luckily for me, there happened to be a family that was searching for an au pair at the exact same time. I visited them at their home in Breukeleveen, and I instantly felt a connection. The parents were so accommodating and kind to me, and the three children (Luca 3 yrs, Fay & Ivy – twin girls, 3 mos!) were adorable. We talked for hours, and they invited me to stay for dinner as we continued to chat over a couple glasses of wine.
On the phone the following night we reached the same conclusion – we were a match!
I have been living with this family for about two weeks, and I could not be happier about my decision. Love permeates this home. Music is a frequent guest, particularly PSY’s “Gangnam Style” (Luca puts my dance moves to shame). I feel so fortunate to be living with a family that makes a conscious effort to make me feel comfortable and welcome.
Here are Fay and Ivy (left-right). I spend a lot of time with these two, and I love nearly every minute of it. They’re fraternal twins, so it’s pretty easy to tell them apart from each other (and you can see that Ivy has quite a head of hair). Fay’s big blue eyes are often a source of amusement, particularly when she’s staring at me from across the dinner table. It usually causes me to erupt in a fit of laughter, and I’ve had to excuse myself on more than one occasion to try to regain my composure.
And here is a better picture of Ivy. This girl normally smiles all the time, but every time I tried to take a picture, she was too intrigued by the camera to smile.
I live on a street that is nestled in between two lakes, yielding phenomenal views from my second-story loft-style bedroom. Here’s a shot of the lake from the backyard.
The next couple months should be busy ones. My friend and I are trying to plan a holiday trip, maybe to Lille, Bruges, or Berlin. We’ve also considered a stay-cation in the Netherlands, perhaps renting a car and driving around to different Dutch cities. And the family has invited me join them on their upcoming trips to Belgium and Spain. It’s really amazing how accessible everything is in Europe, and it reminds me of how lucky I am to be here. Stay tuned for news about my upcoming trips.