MY STORY – starting my au pair journey in Germany


I am a Canadian who came to live in Gijon, Asturias in early 2014, but what led me to expat life started in Frankfurt, Germany two and a half years earlier.

In my German language lessons was a well-dressed, charming Asturian who would soon become my boyfriend and, later, life partner and father to our two amazing little ones.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I was born and raised in the small, industrial city of Sarnia in southwestern Ontario. I went on to study interior design at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and later, with bills to pay and only a minimum wage job to support myself, I ended up back at home in Sarnia. 

After my first trip to Europe two years earlier, I knew I wanted to go back and experience life there. So, since I was back at home with no career related job and nothing tying me down, I decided that it was now or never if I wanted to pursue my dream of living and traveling in Europe, so I created an au pair profile on AuPair World and took the plunge. It was off to Büdesheim, Germany for me. I moved there in September 2011 to start my journey of personal growth, reflection and exploration of a continent I have roots in but knew so little about. (You can read more about my au pair year in future posts.)

With my dad and sister at the going away party they threw me.

Carlos and I met in Frankfurt in May of 2012 and we hit it off from the beginning. He had recently moved there and I had been living in a town on the outskirts for just over half a year. Together we discovered the magic of what was to be our home city for the next two years. 

In September of 2012 my au pair contract ended and I had to make the decision whether to stay in Germany or return home to Canada. Making the decision to stay was easy, the hard part was that I had to find a job to get a work and residence permit, but most employers would not hire me without already having the permits.

 And so began my first experience with the paperwork required as a Canadian expat in Europe – in this case, Germany. It was a stressful period of making calls to potential employers with my limited language skills, and having successful job interviews only to be told to come back when I had my work permit. But, finally, my luck changed and I found an employer that was willing to hire me in order to help me get my permits – Starbucks.

Carlos and I spent the next two years together exploring Frankfurt as well as many other German and European cities. We spent weekends in Paris, Vienna, Brussels, Amsterdam and Prague (to name a few). We were young and in love and we made the most of our time together.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Road trip to Holland

-stay tuned for part 2-

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