I want to show you the house where I will be living for ten months. When I first applied to be an au pair, I didn’t have a real sense of where I was going. Obviously, I knew it would be somewhere in Austria, but I had no way to picture it.
I remember the morning that I received the email from Au Pair Austria with the information about my potential host family. Going through that packet was pretty intense–seeing my possible future life summarized on a few pages. It made my abstract conception of “being an au pair” into something real. Something I could imagine.
Mostly, it was adding a specific “where,” seeing pictures of the H’s house, that made me think, Okay. Let’s do it, and more importantly, this is a place where I can live and work and learn.
As I’ve already said, I was initially hoping for a city placement. But once I replaced that imaginary idea of what I wanted with actual pictures of places, I could see what an incredible opportunity the H.s were offering me (you know, beside the facts that they are kind, generous and have a sweet daughter!).
I will have my own living space within their house. Austrian law requires a host family to provide a private bedroom for their au pair, but I will have an apartment area with my own bathroom, living room, and little kitchen. I think this will give me a good amount of independence and autonomy, while still allowing me to experience family life in an Austrian household.
So here’s my little “au pair flat:”
Isn’t it great? Also, you can imagine how excited I was to see this picture:
Yes, that is their indoor pool. Considering the climate difference between Atlanta and Austria, and the fact that I will arrive just as winter is picking up steam, I think this will become my little happy place–a magical pool where it is always warm and never snowing.
Fun fact: When I studied abroad in Northern Ireland, I would go to the rainforest room in the botanical gardens and pretend it was summer in Alabama. Of course, in Northern Ireland, my dorm was only heated for four hours a day, so probably this lovely home will be a little less devastatingly cold.
Anyway, those are a few of the pictures that really answered the “where” question for me, by showing me a real glimpse into my future life in Austria.