By Mary Charie / 25/07/2015

HOW A YOUNG FILIPINA STARTED TRAVELING?

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Myanmar

UPDATE: I’m no longer an Au  Pair, I’m travelling at the moment

I started my travel as an expat working as an au pair in Denmark. Au Pair? What is that? Is it some kind of a food? Keep reading as I unfold how I, myself, a young Filipina started travelling.

I have been working as an au pair for 20 months now. I can say that this is the best way to start if you want to travel while you are in your mid-20s but broke! How on earth that’s not so many Filipinos knew about this?!I met plenty of Pinays as an au pair in Denmark, most of them are from the Visayas. And I wonder why people from Manila and other parts of the country don’t know about this.

Related PostHere are the Top Au Pair Websites

My sister got this program offer, but she couldn’t go. So, she asked me if I wanted to give it a try. While working as an au pair, I’ve come to realise that I want to travel, learn a new language, meet new people, and experience a lot of new things!

It can be a bit scary, being away from your family and living with strangers is no joke. However, remember that you can always change your plan, go home or do something else. You only get one life, enjoy it!

So here I am, I want to share my experience and convince young Filipinos to try this and gain experience from it.

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WHAT IS AN AU PAIR

Based on Google, an au pair is a young foreign person (typically a woman) who helps with childcare and/or light housework in exchange for food, accommodation, opportunity to learn the language, travel, and some pocket money. This is popular in Europe and in the United States. But Filipinos can’t be au pairs everywhere, yet there are a few amazing countries that we can go and see the world! For example, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN AU PAIR

Between Denmark and the Philippines, Au Pair Scheme is not categorised as “work”. It falls between work and study. The purpose of this program is for cultural exchange between two different nationalities.

  • a chance to go abroad and travel
  • learn a new language
  • exposure to a new culture
  • 5 weeks paid holiday once a year

AN AU PAIR IS NOT

  • maid or Housekeeper
  • cheap labor
  • slave

Related LinkFind more information about being an Au Pair in Denmark

REQUIREMENTS TO BE AN AU PAIR (DENMARK POLICY)

  • You must be 18-29 years old (both years included) at the time of application
  • You must not be married or be in co-habiting relationship-registered partnership
  • You must not have any children
  • You must not be expecting a child
  • Normally, you must not previously have held a Danish residence permit
  • You must not previously have stayed in Denmark as an au pair with different host families for more than a year
  • You must not have the same nationality as one or more members of the host family
  • You must not be related to one or more members of the host family
  • You should be speaking English

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HOW LONG CAN AN UA PAIR STAY WITH A HOST FAMILY

In Denmark, an au pair can stay from 6 months up to the maximum of 24 months. However, if things don’t go well with the au pair and the host, both parties have the opportunity to change an au pair or change a host (you are not obligated to finish the contract).

I changed once not because I didn't have a good relationship with my previous host, but because the job was a bit too easy for me. It will be good if you want to change host then you will search a new host within the same country you are already residing. You will have the chance to meet them (the new host) in person than trying to see a good connection between you and the host you are talking over the computer. Don’t be afraid to talk to your host, that’s the best way to have the great experience being an au pair.

HOW MUCH IS THE POCKET MONEY AND WHO PAY FOR THE AIRFARE AND INSURANCE

As an au pair, you get free accommodation, food, and necessities at home. That’s why your pocket money as an au pair is not a lot yet it is enough. When I started as an au pair I received 3,200 Danish Crowns per month and after a year it upgraded to 3,260. Good news, since July 2015 all upcoming au pairs will have 4,000 Danish Crowns. The airfare going to Denmark will normally be shouldered by the au pair. While the airfare going back home will be paid by your host if your home country is outside the EU (like my situation).

Insurance is one of the best factors; your host will pay this as long as you are staying with them. It covers from health insurance, travel insurance, accident insurance and even death insurance (not trying to scare you, but you are the one who will benefit from this).

In my opinion, the au pair opportunity is a great deal. I live with a foreign family and I learned a lot from them. They are very open, sweet and like family to me. Even though I do not get much for my pocket money, I was able to save up so I can travel. I have travelled to Italy and France since I started to be an au pair. I was also able to come home for a visit after my first year. From the pocket money I saved, I was able to travel and live for six months in Southeast Asia as well.

Nothing will be easy in life, but you have the control of yourself and the decision of what you want to do. It might be a little hard because, in Filipino culture, we help our family, but it is manageable. If you know what you want to do, start choosing your way to your goals and dreams.

Come out from your comfort zone and challenge yourself!

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Do you always want to travel but have zero idea where to start or how to? Here, I shared how a young Filipina started travelling and how can you start your travel too!, how I can start traveling, how to start travelling, how to be an au pair
About the author

Mary Charie

She's the person behind this blog, she has been travelling since 2013. Torn between her itchy feet and writing, Mary found herself soaking up in the world of travel blogging. She travels on her own terms and tries to build her own world whilst pushing herself into every corner of life, breaking limit beyond her capabilities.

40comments
Lina Rodríguez - 18/01/2018

hello Mary! I liked too much your story. You enjoyed a lot there 🙂 I´m considering do au pair work in Denmark, that country looks awesome. I also want to come out from my comfort zone. I feel a bit scared and worried about find a nice family with good character. Can u tell me how was ur experience meeting danish people?.

Reply
    Mary Charie - 22/01/2018

    Hey Lina, thanks for reading! 🙂 I loved the Danish people, they can be cold in the beginning but they are truly nice people and very kind. I am still friends with my Danish friends even I have not seen them for almost two years! It takes some work but it’s so worth it! Remember that they value their personal space a lot. You can find out more about being an expat in Denmark here: https://amaryroad.com/expat-in-denmark-ultimate-guide

    Reply
Micah - 29/10/2017

Your’re such an inspiration! I can totally relate abt the filipino culture of helping out our family. I think this is a major factor that hinders me from exploring the world ? Is the money you’re getting from being an au partner just enough for your everyday needs?

Reply
    Mary Charie - 29/10/2017

    Hi Micha! Thanks for such kind words <3 Since my host provided almost everything I need. My pocket money lets me treat myself once in a while. I also saved some, whereas I was able to go on a holiday to France and Italy. I saved money to travel to Southeast Asia for almost 6 months!

    Reply
Shaween Rojas - 01/04/2017

I have a question to ask. Did you pay the au pair fee (case id fee), or is it shouldered by your host family? I am 21 years old and have no travel abroad experience, but I am interested in au pair. Just like you, I want to experience new places and learn cultures. I’m looking forward to your response.☺

Reply
    Mary Charie - 01/04/2017

    Hi Shaween, thank you for dropping by! If you’re applying in Denmark, the host shoulders the case ID fee. I’m nit sure with the other countries. Hope this helps!

    Reply
DJ - 16/03/2017

…why do I have to discover this at 30? ;~;

Reply
    Mary Charie - 17/03/2017

    I’m sorry about that! But there are some countries that accept over 30 though it might be a little bit of a challenge.

    Reply
    Mayphine pajarito - 15/09/2017

    Hi Marie charie im mayphine from mindanao im 30 and above but i have kids and been married am i possible can accept here for work☺

    Reply
    Mary Charie - 17/09/2017

    Hi Mayphine, unfortunately, only below 30, not married, and without kids can be an au pair.

    Reply
Monica - 23/02/2017

After working as an Au Pair, can you apply for a job in Denmark?

Thanks and I just have to say…You are an inspiration. 🙂

Reply
    Mary Charie - 24/02/2017

    Hi Monica, unfortunately, you cannot. You need a working visa for that.

    Reply
Therie - 06/02/2017

This is such a thought-provoking and inspiring post! You’ve proven that there are plenty of ways to experience the world. Thanks for sharing Mary!

Reply
    Mary Charie - 07/02/2017

    Hi Therie! Thank you for reading! So nice to wake in this kind of message <3 Indeed there are tonnes of ways to see and experience the world, we just need to learn to bite the bullet and step out of our comfort zone 🙂

    Reply
Joser Ferreras - 07/06/2016

Wow! <3 How about your visa and the paper requirements from the Philippines prior to leaving? Could you share your experience with those as well? 🙂

Reply
    Mary Charie - 07/06/2016

    Hello Joser! Thank you for reading! With the requirements, it’s all down after you have contacted someone who is willing to be your host. From there, you will have to work on the documents and requirements together. My host filled up the form and sent it via express mail, which I filled up after I received it. Then I sent it to the embassy to process. After that, it was waiting game for the approval 🙂

    If you have more question, feel free to ask 🙂

    Reply
vinneve - 30/09/2015

Wow! you are a great brave adventurous girl! 🙂 I wish to see Denmark someday.

Reply
    Mary Charie (@amaryroad) - 01/10/2015

    Thanks! I guess we gotta be brave in this world! Visit Denmark, it’s worth an experience 😉

    Reply
    vinneve - 03/10/2015

    Good to know as I plan to meet fellow bloggers in their Countries whenever I can 🙂 Hope to meet you someday!

    Reply
    Mary Charie - 05/10/2015

    What’s your location? You better go to SEAsia. You’ll meet tons! 😀

    Reply
    vinneve - 09/10/2015

    Actually I’ve been to SE Asia many times even before blogging.
    Sure I have to check first who are they so I can contact them for a meet ups 😉

    Reply
Ammie - 29/08/2015

I hope this Filipina will come visit me sometime soon <3

Reply
    Mary Charie - 30/08/2015

    Can’t say soon darling. But I promise I’ll visit you when the time is right 😉 Miss you!

    Reply
Lhalyn - 27/08/2015

This is a nice blog. I saw your blogpost from Kaye (she’s my previous collegue and a friend), she’s your sister right? Now I got an idea how to travel not thinking about spending too much. Right! life is too short and we shouldn’t be locked up in a place doing nothing to achieve our dreams and passion. Thanks! Have a safe travel! 🙂

Reply
    Mary Charie - 27/08/2015

    Hi Lhalyn! Thanks for reading! Yes, Kaye is my sister. And right, we don’t actually have to spend a loooot of money to see the world. I will be writing more and will share my experiences on how to do a low-cost travel. Thanks again! 🙂

    Reply
matam - 03/08/2015

Another thing is, i think, do it while you can, so, when you don’t “lock” yourself in a place because of a job or so. Wonderful share though !

Reply
    Mary Charie - 04/08/2015

    Aww! thanks for comment!! <3 I won't be locking myself anymore! wink!wink! Miss you!!!

    Reply
Life and Money Hacker - 27/07/2015

Travelling is something worth doing. I really love your blogpost since I, myself, have recently discovered the wonders of travelling. You get to learn more about the world at the same time! 😀

http://www.lifeandmoneyhacks.wordpress.com

Reply
    Mary Charie - 27/07/2015

    That’s true! There’s nothing to lose in traveling! Thanks for reading! 🙂

    Reply
GirlUnspotted - 26/07/2015

That’s amazing. I say when it comes to travel, do whatever it takes. And this absolutely sounds like a great stepping stone to see the world.

http://www.girlunspotted.com

Reply
    aMaryRoad - 27/07/2015

    Thanks for reading GirlUnspotted! Yes, this is a good deal. This is not only for Filipinos but for everyone around the world 🙂

    Reply
SheryL♥ - 26/07/2015

Hi! Thanks for sharing! I’m kind of interested in this. How or where can I find this opportunity?

Reply
    aMaryRoad - 27/07/2015

    Hi Sheryl,. thank you for reading! You can check this site : https://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/coming_to_dk/au_pairs/au_pairs.htm for any information. There are also some websites where you can find a host family. Try: aupairworld.com or greataupair.com or thebestaupair. Just message me if you need help or any question 🙂

    Reply
    SheryL♥ - 28/07/2015

    So kind of you! Thank you so much! Do you have Line? 🙂

    Reply
    Mary Charie - 28/07/2015

    No, I don’t have. But you can message me on my twitter anytime 🙂 My twitter is mcrylagan or send me email at amaryroad@gmail.com 🙂

    Reply
    SheryL♥ - 28/07/2015

    I don’t use Twitter. I’ll email you then. Thank you!^_^

    Reply
Michaella Icasas - 26/07/2015

This blog post is great. I’ve been searching the internet for ways to travel the world and this looks like an option. Thanks for this!

Reply
    aMaryRoad - 27/07/2015

    Hi Michaella! I’m glad that I helped you by giving you option how to travel the world. Feel free to ask me if you have questions 🙂

    Reply
Rechito - 26/07/2015

I bet those friends you were afraid to tell that you were an au pair are now jealous of you. We need more Filipino travelers in this world.
Safe Travels!

Reply
    aMaryRoad - 27/07/2015

    Thanks Rechito for reading and making me feel good! Have a safe travel too! 🙂

    Reply
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