Gloria Martinez

The best unplanned, fortunate discovery
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear slippers every day at work? Well, let me tell you that it’s awesome! But this is just the least amazing thing about my job…
First of all, I would like to start by saying that I had never considered to be an au pair, but it is being definitely the best serendipity ever.
It was New Year’s Eve from 2017, and in México there’s a tradition where you have to write down 12 New Year’s resolutions or wishes and eat a grape as you think of each one. The first thing I thought about was quitting my job, as I had been doing the same thing for the past almost 4 years, and I just felt that it was time for a change. Another resolution was to live abroad, and I specifically liked the idea of living in the United States. So, I started considering the idea of moving to the States and as I thought more about it, I liked it even more and more. I was already very excited about this idea, so I started telling my whole family and friends that I was going to move the United Stated around May or June. I had no clue what I was going to do, where I was going to work or where I was going to go, but I was confident that something good was about to happen. I absolutely believe that magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone, exhibit A is what I’m about to tell you next.
In February, I was very lucky to find Expert AuPair. So, by March I had all my paperwork ready. By April, Expert AuPair had my profile active and started sharing it with host families looking for aupairs. I had interviews with 7 families from different states. It was during the first days of May that I met the Guza family. I just felt it in my guts that they were the right host family for me, and I hoped that they would choose me. Thankfully they did! I think that one of the times that I’ve been really excited is when I received their email asking me to be their aupair. We made a match and then set everything for me to travel to Wisconsin by July.
First, I flew to Florida for my week of training, and I can say that it was a great unplanned vacay! It was really awesome to meet other people from all around the world who were about to start the same adventure that I was going to immerse myself in. We got along so well that we have a nickname for the group, we call ourselves “The Chickens from Expert”. We even had a chance to celebrate the 4th of July there in the Marine Bay shore. We recoded a video with our multilingual version of Hakuna Matata and went out to the beach, bars, and night clubs as we were exploring Saint Pete. It was so much fun!
Becoming an aupair is absolutely the best life-changing decision I have ever made.
Although, I won’t lie, the first weeks were a complete shock to me, even though I was already familiar with the American culture, as I lived very close to the border. Everything was so different and I missed my family a lot! When you are away from your family and friends, all you want to is to feel like home, and I am very grateful to say that my host family has made me feel like I am part of the family too. They invite me to birthday parties, we go out for walks and we try to always eat dinner together. During the summer, we did a lot of fun things. We went to the Summerfest, the State Fair, the Renaissance Fair, to the biggest waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells, and I even got to experience my first live football game. It was a pre-season game with the Packers against the Steelers.
The way Kristin, my host mom introduces me to other people is just priceless! She always tells them “Gloria is the best, everybody should get an aupair”. I can totally say that I found a friend in her. I can always tell her how I feel, what anguishes me, and she is always open to listen to what I have to say and offers me her advice when I need it. She is a very go-getter person. I like going shopping with her (we are both bargain hunters hehe), and cooking recipes that either one of us know or ones that we find on internet. I also like it when we watch movies or TV shows together when the kids are sleeping.
Then, Jeremy, my host dad is just as hilarious as can be, I laugh a lot whenever we are all together in the dining room or in the family room. Also, he reminds me a lot of my brother, so it’s like if my brother was with me.
And my host kids, I just looooove them! I feel like a proud mom whenever Theo (22 mo) learns something new. I get super excited that I want to share it with everyone. By the way, did I tell you that he already counts to 20 (only skipping 14, 15 and 16)? And that he recognizes most of the letters in the alphabet? I love that on weekends when he sees me coming upstairs from my room in the morning, he runs all the way from where he is, says “Gola!” (that’s how he calls me), and asks me to lift him up and then gives me a hug! He’s just the smartest and sweetest little guy I know.
The other day, Logan (9 yo) and I were going through the bug trail on our way back from the library. I was riding my bike and he was in his scooter. I stopped to look at the map on my phone and he told me that he was sad because there will come a day when I will eventually erase the map of the house from my phone, because I won’t live there anymore. Then, he said that he doesn’t want it to happen, because that’s when I am going to leave them. These kind of details make me feel appreciated and thankful for all the good things in my life.
There’s another new member in the family, her name is Penny and she is just a month and a half old. I think now I understand how mothers fall in love with their babies right after or even before they meet them. Just looking at her makes me want to smile. I even think it’s amazing how she follows my face with her eyes when I am in front of her and I move.
A little more than a month ago, I saw a Facebook memory where I shared a post “10 things you can do in Chicago” and I wrote “someday I’ll be there”. And, then it got me… it didn’t even take me a year to go there! Being an aupair allows you to travel to new places with friends or with the host family. My host family is already planning the next three family vacays, and the idea just excites me a lot!
As I watched movies, I have always wanted to go to an American university, and now I’m able to do so. At the same time, to seize the time, I am taking a Micromaster’s online. It is a credential on Supply Chain Management from the MIT. After being part of the Supply Chain department for more than 3 years, I discovered that this is my passion, because it lets me figure out a way of breaking down complex issues. It is perfect, because if I was working in an office, the least thing that I would want to do was to come home and be in front of a computer. But, as I am not using a computer during the day, I am more than happy to use my computer after my shift is over.
Being an aupair just opens you a whole world of opportunities…
I am definitely not the same person I was four months ago. This experience has made me get rid of a lot of fears and paradigms that I once had. It has also helped me to change the way I see things that I once thought I couldn’t do. Now, I feel like I can achieve whatever goal I set. I also feel like I can go to any city and every country that I want, and live wherever I feel like it. I feel like a citizen of the world. I can say that, in general, a better version of myself is being formed, because this has completely nurtured the way I think, see, and do things.

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