GARAZI ALKORTA’s Story

LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEY

Travelling, cultures, growth, friends & family
The fact of being more than 5000 miles away from home for a year, on my own, living and sharing experiences with strangers sounded like a scary idea when I decided to start this journey called the au-pair experience. Let’s jump into the car and travel through this –not always so easy– road that turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.

Once I packed for the journey I realized there was a hidden feeling on the side pockets that was coming with me straight to the other side of the world: a bitter-sweet feeling of sadness because of what I was leaving behind mixed with excitement and eagerness to finally know what was waiting for me. But the car started running and here I am.

On my first stop, I met up with people that have been my travel-buddies: my host-family and friends. My host parents are a caring couple that try to share many important values in life with their kids: respect, love, honesty, responsibility, hard-working and tolerance, among others. Taking care of kids is not always an easy job but they somehow end up cheering you up even on you worst days. You’ll sing at the top of your lungs with them while you’re driving them to judo, you’ll be a master at UNO cards, you’ll find out that you aren’t that bad playing basketball and you’ll even learn how to flip-jump from the trampoline at the pool. You’ll definitely realize that you are learning from them as much as what they’re learning from you. You’ll come back home as a culturally richer person; other than sharing your routine with a local family, you’ll probably have lunch with your German neighbor, you’ll go out with your Spanish amigos at night and you’ll meet up with people from Mexico, Taiwan, Australia or Zambia.

Every suitcase is made for a reason: travelling, my second stop on the journey. This has been the perfect chance to discover those cities that I’ve always heard about, but I’ve never had the chance of visiting. Yes, New York City is an awesome jungle where everything is possible, but noisy, crazy and dirty, too. The slopes in San Francisco will make you sweat like a pig. Canada is really cold, but beautiful, in winter. Road-trips through California aren’t like in movies: smaller budgets, a couple of rainy days and not-so-amazing motels will walk with you while you contemplate the views. But, hey, heads up, you’ll deal with everything!

I’ve been here for a while now and I still hate the taxes and struggle with the “tips” like the very first day; I sometimes miss home and everything that I left there. I’ve found potholes on the road; but those potholes drove me into my last (but not least) stop: growth. I’ve learnt many things about myself, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve had a lot of doubts, but there’s one thing that I’m 100% sure about: I won’t regret anything that I’ve experienced and everyone that I’ve met during my au-pair-life will have a special place in my heart.

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