Out of all the things that could have worried me before coming to England the thing I was worried about the most was finding new friends.
I am usually quite good in making friends but I always relied on school or my hobbies to be a place to meet them. I did not have such a thing here for the first few weeks and I am really not the kind of person who goes out to clubs at night so how was I supposed to meet people?
As soon as I set foot on English ground my concerns were allayed by a nice girl named Celina who came up to me at the airport after she heard that I was an au pair as well. We found out that our host-families didn’t even lived that far apart and met a few days after that.
When I started feeling bad in my host-family I wanted to talk to other people about it and obviously Celina did not have time to talk to me the whole day. My old host-mum had told me that there was a group of au pairs in Reading on Facebook so I looked it up and found it.
Camilo was the first person I replied to his post saying that he was looking for friends and it seriously was the best decision I made that week! He answered very quickly and after only a few messages we came to talking about the whole misery with my host-family. He is a good listener and gave me tips and also something to look forward to because we went to eat pizza together. Basically he was one of the first good things that had happened up to this point.
Camilo was also the one who added me to the WhatsApp-groups where I got in touch with Johanna and later on Laura and Jacob. Another girl I met on Facebook was Marta. We arranged a coffee-date and quickly became good friends. Fortunately we all get along very good together so far, so I have this nice little group of friends that just came out of nowhere.
In fact I feel very lucky to have them because they understand me! They are all au pairs themselves and get the struggles and the joys of being in a strange country, having to speak another language and living with the people you also work for! I don’t think anybody else would ever be capable to really grasp what being an au pair is like.
Obviously there are not only great people on Facebook. I did meet or text with some that were not exactly what I was seeking. But that happens and after you’ve met them you just proceed looking for others. It’s no big deal, at least it shouldn’t be!
I guess the important thing is to have the courage to just go and meet people you’ve never seen before. If you dare to do that this can actually lead to great friendships!
PS: The photo of Marta and me was taken by Camilo who is a wonderful photographer! You can check out some of his amazing pictures right here: www.flickr.com/photos/camilovan