If you’ve been following my blog, Instagram, or Facebook, you’ve seen the pictures and heard the stories of my summer in France. All in all, it was amazing. Really, really amazing. My decision to become an au pair in France was undoubtedly one of the best decisions of my life.
I’ve been back in Minnesota for a week now, and I’m still trying to adjust to American life after my (almost) three months of living completely immersed in the French culture. Every so often I start talking in French, I’ve called Elaine (my cat) “Mila” (the name of the little girl I was watching), and I’m catching up on all the Caribou Coffee I missed while I was on the other side of the Atlantic.
It’s been wonderful to catch up with so many people I missed while I was gone. One question I keep getting asked is, “Was France amazing? Do you want to go back?” And the short answer is “yes! Absolutely.” But there’s far more to the story than that.
A few weeks into the summer, Fede and Jeff, being the sweet hosts they are, told me they would love it if I could stay with them longer than for just the summer. They revealed their plans to visit the mountains, Milan, and Corsica this year, and told me I was more than welcome to come along. However, knowing family, friends, and school awaited me at home, I thanked them kindly for the offer and told them I had plans back in America. The conversation, though, kept coming up, and the more I thought about the prospect of staying in France, the more passionate I became about it. With lots of reflection and conversation with the family in France, I realized that what I thought would always remain a dream (literally — I had dreams about it) could become a reality. Finally, I told my family family that I really wanted to stay.
To say they were stunned would probably be an understatement. Honestly, it all shocks me a bit too. At this time last year, I would have never believed someone who told me I would au pair in France for a summer, let alone decide to stay for a year.
But, if all goes as planned, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. If we can get the visa and paperwork all organized, I will be returning to France and to au pairing for this wonderful family on the Cote D’Azur at the end of September/very beginning of October (like in less than a month) and come back to America sometime late next spring or next summer (depending on a few unknowns). Yes, I’m scared. Yes, sometimes I wonder if it’s the right time. Yes I realize it’s a little crazy. And yes, I’m going to miss my family, friends, school, and my cat profusely. But someone once said that, “sometimes, doing things you can’t imagine doing, things you are beyond scared to do, things that both excite and terrify you beyond measure, is the best possible thing to do.” So I’m going to take my own advice, and I’m going to go for it.
Of course there will be loads of updates as I go about this process, as there is so much more I could say. But for now, I’ll leave you with that.