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“Au Pair in The Netherlands” they said, “it would be fun” they said.

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

I was a scared 18-year-old, brave enough not to shed a tear as my mom hugged me close.

“Don’t look back”, she whispered – and that’s exactly what I did. I imagined this year as a time to grow more independent and comfortable within my own skin. Never would I have known that my worst fears would come true and that I would overcome them in a whim.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol welcomed me with a gust of humid, crisp air. I was met with blue skies and 4 little green eyes staring up at me. Looking down at the 2 little people that would be my responsibility for the next year, I remember nothing else but a concoction of fear and excitement.

My first encounter with Amsterdam was probably what I consider the best day of my life. I had a very adventurous host dad who (on my first weekend in the Netherlands) didn’t allow me to stay inside the house. I was left to my own resources and climbed the metro out of the very quiet suburbia into the busy City Center. I remember having feelings of being completely lost, confused and most importantly – excitement. Upon my arrival at Amsterdam Central Station, I bought a very touristy map of the city. I walked with the map in hand and explored, I met face to face with the Anne Frank Museum, Dam square, The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.