Life Learning Experience

Posted: July 14, 2010 in International Adventures, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Having spent my early twenties wasting time waiting for a go nowhere boyfriend to marry me we broke up (well actually he went off with someone else and got married) and I was heartbroken.

So, I decided to break out of the mundane and have an adventure to ‘find myself’. I’d always done a lot of babysitting so I decided this was a good way to see some of the world and work. I bought The Lady magazine and applied for an AuPair/Nanny job in the most remote place and unpopulated place I could find,Β Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada

I had a fantastic time! I looked after 3 kids, Alice, 9; Thomas, 6 and Douglas, 5 and had great host parents Sue and Dick (Richard).

Fort Qu’Appelle is a small town of around 2,000 people called. However, strictly speaking I lived in B-Say-Tah which was outside Fort Qu’Appelle on Echo Lake and had a population of around 200. Fort Qu’Apelle is in a valley in the Prairies and even has a ski area which is where Tom, who was one of the boys I dated there gave me a ski lesson of sorts before my disastrous trip to Banff .

I think I was probably a bit of a nightmare in many ways as I was a bit of a party girl spending most off my ‘off’ time in Trappers Saloon. But the family seemed to love me anyway as I worked as hard as I played and I loved those kids as if they were my own. We’ve kept in touch ever since and I plan on taking my family to visit them at some point now we live in Utah. One of my ‘kids’ has even recently had a baby so I now feel like I’m a Grandma!

I learnt such a lot in that year. I learnt that I love to travel, I love children, I love living in the open spaces of the mid west and I love the independence of striking out and going somewhere I’d never been before. Being an Au Pair was one of the most fun times in my life (and I’ve had a lot of fun) and I did it for 5 years so there’s a lot more to talk about on the subject and it’s the reason I became a childcare coordinator for an AuPair program when I later moved back to the US with my own family.

I wonder sometimes where I’d be if that boyfriend hadn’t gone off and married someone else. I may never have left Derbyshire and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. From that I’ve learnt that life is what happens when you’re making other plans, as John Lennon once said, and that even when your life seems bleak good usually comes out of it.

Have there been any pivotal moments in your life where you have gone in a completely different direction to that which you planned?

  1. Absolutely! In fact most of my life has gone in a direction I had not planned on. I had children very young, and often wonder what if I had waited and done other things first and had kids later. But I look at my three beauties and know that I wouldn’t have it any other way! I also never went away to college (I lived at home & commuted, and then started working FT and took night/weekend/online classes.) So naturally I wonder how different my life would have been if I had the experience of going away to college and living in a dorm, etc….

    • funny how life turns out but I firmly believe it all happens in the way it’s meant to (and I’m deeply NOT religious). I have no regrets and I’m so glad that boyfriend went off with someone else. I met him years later and found out the woman had run off with his best friend and left him to look after their two boys – make of that what you will πŸ˜‰

  2. oviedostyle says:

    Thanks for sharing. I can look back and see several times when something happened that threw me off track. Fortunately, I have always landed on another track.

    My original goal in life was to be a fashion designer. That didn’t pan out and I felt like a failure for a few years. Luckily a chance to start my own business came about and through that I have supported myself, made new friends, learned a lot about myself and started a micro-grant program or other women business owners.

    Life seems to be a series of amazing events disguised as setbacks. Staying positive through the bad times and working hard has helped me succeed.

  3. I’m also taking a look at your business site πŸ˜‰

  4. yes Louise Meeting my husband 8 weeks before finishing my Au pair year and heading to England for 2 years… I still went but Obviously returned hence why I have resided in the US for the last 13 years πŸ™‚

  5. Nice – that was a biggie – I have quite a few more to talk about at other times too.

  6. Oh Louise, isn’t it amazing what can happen when people take risks? To pack your bags and move to a different country takes courage. When I look at my au pairs that is what I see , brave young people who are making a difference in their own lives and the lives of other families.
    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
    ~ Robert Frost

    • I know Sabina – that’s why I like working with my AuPairs. They are lucky to have the program though – I remember changing planes in Calgary at the beginning of December thinking oh – my – God – what – am – I – doing – here!!!!!! It was the best experience ever though it turned out. And I love that quote!

  7. Jem says:

    What a nice blog! I found you while perusing the SITS blogging challenge comments. I am new to blogging, just posted for the first time on Monday, to coincide with the beginning of the challenge.
    I haven’t changed countries, I can’t imagine! but I did move from a nice home in a nice neighborhood in a city that felt like home to a far more expensive and far less nice home/neighborhood when I married my husband and in 18 months I still don’t feel like this is home. Your blog has inspired me to stop wallowing in my misery and embrace this new part of my life. Thanks.!

    Last post ‘3 ways teenagers and soap opera characters lead amazingly similar lives’

    • Thanks for your lovely comment! I’ve only been blogging for a couple of weeks myself and I’m loving it. I’m glad my post helped you in some way – my life s so much better since I switched my mindset. Going to take a look at your blog now – and follow. Would love it if you would follow mine πŸ™‚

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