Why an au pair? And why in Belgium?

Why be an au pair in Belgium? I’ve been asked that a few times already. First, people usually try being an au pair after graduating from high school if they don’t know what to do next / just want to see the world. Second, most Estonians would probably pick some place like the USA, the UK… or any country that offers enough sun for a lifetime in one year.

I’m 22, just got my BA in politics and could be looking for an office job where I could use that education or go and get a Master’s degree in international relations or EU studies or… you get my drift. Why on earth would I be an au pair then? The answer is fairly simple. Even though I’ve travelled quite a lot already, it’s not enough for me; I’ve been wanting to live abroad for at least a year for as long as I can remember. This is the time to finally do that.

For years I thought I’d go to England. I have always loved England and London is the city of my dreams. Then something changed. I fell in love with a Dutchman and suddenly I found I wouldn’t be against moving to The Netherlands. There were a few obstacles though – I had no money for moving and we were both still studying, so just packing everything up and going to a different country was not the most sensible option.

This June I discovered something. I was done with university, I had no idea what I wanted to do next (Master’s degree? In what? What job? In which country???), my eyes were not taking my current office job very well and I felt like I needed a break from everything. I had already had half a week where I could barely see anything with one eye and the other one hurt like mad as well, so I knew I had to make a change. I went through all job offers and put up a profile on an au pair website and the first results came from the aur pair site.

Within 1.5 weeks from the moment I had started searching for a new job, I had an agreement with a lovely Estonian-French family in Brussels and could quit the office job. Being an au pair seemed like the furthest thing from archiving invoices. It seemed perfect. I have always loved children and gotten along well with them, so changing from computers to two lovely small kids… was there even a question?

Of course, one factor in picking that particular family (besides the fact they seemed the best fit from everyone who had contacted me so far) was that Brussels is only a 3h train ride away from Nijmegen. What about Nijmegen? Well, it’s a lovely Dutch town near the German border… and my lovely Dutchman Matthijs happens to live there. We have been flying back&forth between the Netherlands and Estonia for more than 15 months, so being closer to him was such a lovely bonus to everything else. No more asking in January whether he would be able to see me at the end of June or planning the New Year’s meet-up in the middle of the summer. Just jump on a train and go.

2 thoughts on “Why an au pair? And why in Belgium?

    • Yeah, I read about your train adventures on FB (as much as I could understand) XD

      Fortunately the connection between Brussels and Nijmegen seems to be a bit more straightforward. How many times do you have to switch trains? My best option is with only one switch, probably somewhere near the border.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s