My name is Karina and I’m a 21 year old (22 in two weeks!) Aussie university student. This year I’ve decided to spend six months Au Pairing in Italy and I want to document it right here on this blog. The past few months have been crazy trying to organise everything, and even the past two weeks have had their fair share of troubles and chaos – but more on that later.
Why am I doing this? Because I overthink everything. I’m a super nervous and altogether disastrously anxious person (sounds like a great mix for solo travel, right?) and it was extraordinarily difficult to find answers to my questions anywhere on the internet. I was under the impression we could find anything on the web these days, so to take inspiration from the quote “if you want a thing done well, do it yourself”, I figured that by writing this blog I may be able to help someone else like me in the future!
To tell you a little about myself: I’ve always loved travelling, I think I first gained an appreciation for the world living with my family in the USA when I was younger. We lived in California for the best part of two years and then travelled in a motorhome for 3 months around the enormous and beautiful area of North America. I remember being so excited having my Junior Ranger passport stamped in each national park, just like I do now ticking another place off the bucket list.
Since then I have been incredibly lucky to have been overseas a few more times – three weeks in Germany on a school trip, two months in Canada on a student exchange, five weeks with my family in France in 2014, a month with a friend in the UK during my second year of uni, a short holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia at the end of last year and finally this trip to Europe which has certainly been the biggest yet!
Other things: I’m an avid reader, gymnastics is a favourite sport (though my skills aren’t what they once were), I love to watch musicals, I like dorky weekend things like bowling and mini golf, I can speak a little bit of German, I can’t stand the noise vacuum cleaners make, and I will never pass on playing a good board game.
My life up to this point: As high school came to an end and we were asked to apply for uni courses I still had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I had an interest in Psychology but wasn’t keen on the minimum of 5 years study to have any kind of chance of being a psychologist. I also really enjoyed graphic design/advertising but didn’t quite make the creative cut for that course. A teacher at my school mentioned to me that marketing somewhat encapsulated both psychology and advertising and I leapt on the idea because I genuinely had no where else to turn. Business degrees are good in that they can take you in so many directions, no matter what the major is. So that’s what I’ve been doing! So far I have completed two years of full time study, and one year of full time work as an IBL (industry based learning) student which also earned credits towards my course. Up until then I had worked at McDonalds for four years (too long), and simultaneously as a gymnastics coach for two years. I’m still not in love with my degree choice, and this has been the leading factor to where I am right now – taking a year to live in the beautiful country of Italia.
So that’s me in a very brief nutshell. Because this is just an introduction post, I will talk about how I found my au pair position and everything leading up to it in other posts (then you won’t have to read through all this garbage to find the answers you really need – kudos to you if you’ve made it up to this point!).
I’ll see you back here with another post soon! Ciao!