Elea – Au Pair in Love with New York

Hi, I’m Elea and for the past 9 months I have been living in a small suburban town in New Jersey as an Au Pair in America. I have done so many amazing things, made heaps of new friends and have really gotten to experience life in America.

I take care of two girls, aged 8 and 15. My day starts really early (5.30am!) as my host parents commute into New York City for work. I get the girls up, ready and drive them to school. I then have the rest of the school day free to do what I like.

Usually I will go to the gym, and out to coffee, shopping and the movies with other au pair friends. I pick up the girls after school and then we do homework and go to activities. They are busy kids with something on almost every day after school – swimming, karate, ballet, Hebrew school etc. I eat dinner with my host family most nights then I’m free again until I pick up the oldest girl from swimming at around 8 or 9pm.


Playing in the snow in Central Park


On top of the Met in NYC

I’m lucky enough to live close to New York and I have fallen in love with the city. It’s about an hour bus or train ride into Manhattan and my friends and I go into the city almost every weekend.

There are so many fun events and things to do – some of my favourites have been the Brazilian Day street party, free movies in Central Park, seeing Broadway shows (I saw Jersey Boys and Bring It On this year) and going to a Yankees game. I also got to see two shows at New York Fashion Week, which was so cool.

At Islands of Adventure in Orlando

I have done a little bit of travelling so far – a girls weekend in Atlantic City and Orlando with a friend from home. I am going to be going to Montreal for a class I’m about to start taking and I’m planning a trip to Mexico with a friend. Also on my wishlist is Niagra Falls and Philadelphia. I’ve previously travelled around the states a bit when I did Camp America (another amazing experience!) so this time around I’ve been happy to spend most of my time having fun in NYC.

I have made friends from all around the world, starting with the first day of orientation. I now have friends from South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Israel and Australia and an excuse to do even more travelling My cluster has been so great, as soon as I arrived I was getting invitations to hang out from other au pairs. My community counselor is also wonderful, she is always organizing get togethers, from Starbucks meeting, to Broadway shows or a party at her house.

At the Yankees Game

I have taken Italian classes at a local community college and I’m about to start a class about Montreal. We go to three classes in NYC and then a long-weekend trip to Montreal, which I can’t wait to see.
I have learnt so much about life in America and their culture. American’s love celebrating holidays and they go all out for most of them. Halloween is one of my host families favourite holidays and the house was decorated inside and out – we even had skull shaped soap!

My house at Halloween

I also learnt that American’s love Autumn and they go pumpkin crazy at that time of the year. Everyone buys pumpkins to put outside their house and you can buy so many pumpkin flavoured food and drinks.

This year has been full of ups and downs – 8 days without power after Hurricane Sandy was probably the hardest time, but then I’ve had so many amazing experiences too. I’ve seen some awesome shows, done a ton of sightseeing and laughed until I cried with new friends.

Elea Huston