What is Au Pairing in San Francisco Really Like? Natalie’s Experience

Did you live in SF proper or the suburbs?

I lived in Mill Valley in Marin, just over the Golden Gate Bridge!

How long were you based in San Francisco?

6 months, then I moved to Canada for 3 months whilst I got a new extended visa for the US, then another 7 months.

Did you live with the family or in your own apartment?

I lived with the family, I had my own ensuite down stairs, very private yet still close to home.

How did you find your family? Through a website, friends, etc.

One of my best friends was Au Pairing for the family, I knew them for a year when we discussed and decided that I would be their next Au Pair once my friend flew back to Australia.

What kind of visa were you on?

To start off I was sponsored by an Au Pair company, I was on a J1 visa with them. After that… lets just say I worked a little bit of magic.

What was your relationship with the family like?

Amazing! They are still to this day like a second family to me, in my most recent travels I visited them, and I plan to visit them again very soon!

Were there any cultural differences you noticed?

How much more popular peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were there.

Do you go to any kind of school?

No I did not.

What duties did you have? Did you cook for the family?

I cooked for the kids, yes. I mostly took care of the 4 year old and 6 year old, (there were four children) the older kids took mainly took care of themselves, I was just there to guide them!

How did you entertain/educate the children?

Lots of arts and crafts, park based activities, skateboarding, bike riding, baking, etc…

How did you spend your free time?

I spent every second I could in the city, walking around aimlessly, hanging out with my friends, spending my days in the parks and experimenting with new hobbies.

How did you make friends?

San Francisco is one of the easiest cities to make friends in. I made friends in bars, walking across the street, in parks, on buses, I could go through some of the ways I met some of my friends but it would take me forever… I met some of my best friends there in the most of unexpected ways!

What was the dating scene like?

 Fantastic. The people in San Francisco are all free spirited, beautiful souls. I fell in love weekly, it’s hard not too!

What you loved about working in SF:

Absolutely everything. Before San Francisco I was a lost little 19 year old girl. I had no base of who I was, now, at 22, San Francisco has shaped my soul entirely. I am forever in debt, and I will forever hold SF close to my heart.

What you disliked about working in SF:

 There was nothing I disliked.

Overall would you recommend working in SF?

Yes. Open your heart and take a leap of faith, you will not regret it.

Any important things to pack?

Your hula hoop, slack line, and musical instrument.

Have you ever au paired in San Francisco or the USA? Comment below!

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 Natalie is a free-spirited wanderer who is currently making her way around the world. Follow her adventures on Twitter.

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