A Year Abroad: Discoveries As an Au Pair in Ireland
My name is Avana Garza. I am 24 years old, (I actually just celebrated my birthday here in Ireland with my host family!) I am an Au Pair in Ireland and I will be here for a year. I wanted to become an Au Pair because I love children, I have my bachelors’ degree in bilingual education, and I am fluent in both Spanish and English.
When I first heard about GeoVisions I was excited because I’ve always wanted to travel to different countries, it’s been a tug at my soul since I was little.
I decided to apply to come to Ireland because I have always been drawn to this European country whose culture and history are somewhat similar to my own Mexican roots. At first I was nervous since I am a solitary person who rarely goes out of my comfort zone, many of my family and friends were shocked I was leaving for so long, but I could feel that this was what I needed to do to grow and learn about myself by taking care of and relating to others.
I have been an Au Pair in Ireland for a month and it has been fantastic! I love the small town that I am in, Carlow. It is similar to my hometown but also distinctly different. I love to walk to the town center and walk around to the different shops. One of my favorite things about Ireland are the buildings that have history all their own. For example, the library here in Carlow is housed inside an old church. And in the center of town there is a fountain commemorating the 1798 rebellion in Carlow. It is called the Liberty Tree. It is a beautiful and striking fountain. And there are many such commemorations all over Ireland. I love discovering them and their meanings!
In this month I have also made a friend who is also an Au Pair somewhat nearby, we have met up in Kilkenny, which is a forty-minute train ride from Carlow. This town has a castle, Kilkenny castle. Since I was early for my meeting at the shopping center I decided to venture to this castle by myself. I used my phone to locate it and nearly got lost but happily, I actually got lost inside the castle park and walked around at the marvelous trees until I found my way to the castle.
In my discoveries as an Au Pair in Ireland, I have learned a lot about myself and have gained new confidence in my ability to travel solo and wander alone.
Working and making new discoveries as an Au Pair in Ireland has also given me insight into different cultures. My host family is Nigerian originally but two of their three boys, the younger two, were born here in Ireland. They have a mix of cultures in their household and foods that is interesting and fun to learn about. I have learned to make traditional dishes like ‘moi moi’ from their culture and shared some of my own with them. It is wonderful being able to learn and share about your life and culture with others who are also so willing to share theirs with you. My experience has been incredible and it has just started! I cannot wait to see what else I can discover and learn from Ireland and my host family.