Homesickness can be difficult, but I hope by reading my story you will see that everything really will get better soon (even if you can’t imagine how right now) ...
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. When I first came to Florida from Germany last April, I changed very quickly from being totally excited and encouraged to feeling sad, afraid and homesick. Everything was so different and I felt that I was struggling with pretty much everything – even with tasks I thought I would be very good at!
On the beach with my beloved host child
My host family was very kind and welcoming. They really tried to make me feel like a family member. But I still felt like a stranger, alone in a totally different world (or at least a different country!). It just wasn’t “home.”
I’m going to be honest here – but don’t worry, it gets better soon – I felt miserable for a while. I had no friends. I missed my family. I even started to feel like I might have made a mistake coming to the U.S. in the first place.
But I didn’t want to give up. Some part of me knew that if I just quit and went home, I would never forgive myself for “failing,” and I’d always wonder if I should have stayed.
Luckily (at least in this case) I happen to be extremely stubborn and proud. So I stayed. I fought the sad feelings and kept telling myself that “I can make it.”
Then the “impossible” happened. As time went on, I started feeling more comfortable – with the country, the people, and my responsibilities as a special needs au pair (such as creating therapies for the children).
Shopping with my new friends!
PROaupair and my host mom gave me some good tips on how and where to make friends and I met a group of Au Pairs from all over the world, who are now great friends. Having people who understood what I was going through made a huge difference.
When I look back now, all I can tell you is DON’T GIVE UP! If you have the same feelings that I had, if you think you cannot make it through, just wait at a few more months and you will see that everything is going to be just awesome!
I was so sure I would never ever even think of extending for a 2nd year as a special needs au pair, but then I found myself struggling with one of the hardest decisions I my life – should I extend or should I go back after one year?!
At some point I suddenly saw how happy I am here. I realized that I’m having such an awesome time, such unforgettable moments and experiences and such wonderful friends that I don’t want to go back to Germany yet.
That really took me by surprise, because until then I hadn’t even realized how much my feelings had changed!
For the first time in my life I can really say that I am proud of myself for what I’ve become. I really changed in a positive way and I see many things different now.
No matter how sad you feel right now everything is just going to be fine. In fact, this year will be the best experience of your life . . . if you are willing to stick it out and let it happen.
Let me finish with one of my favorite quotes because I think it really fits:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.William Shakespeare – Julius Caesar