So why the sudden declaration that I would be going to Italy for two and a half months as an au pair looking after 4 children? And why the ridiculous notion that I was (am) indeed capable of doing so? Good question. I'm sure my family alone would like to know. But I think the only way to describe this decision is through the "travel bug phenomenon" that seems to plague my existence every couple of months.
You see, travel bugs, much like mosquitos, bite you in your sleep and unlike mosquitos, they fill your head with grandiose ideas of exploration that push you outside of your comfort zone. Once you're bitten, the intoxicating venom stays in your system until you fulfill each quest that the travel bug has in mind for you. And so, in late March I thought I had gotten over my travel bug bite when I went to England to visit Brooks, but it came back stronger than ever upon returning to Kingston. Alas, I searched for relief... relief that preferably came with full room-and-board and a pay check?.... and VOILA! To my surprise such a thing existed and it came nicely packaged in the chic French phrase "Au pair". Au pair literally translates to "on equal terms", as in to enter an agreement for an exchange of equal services (in this case room-and-board/pay in exchange for child care/the extremely hot commodity known as the English language). Sounds great right? RIGHT?! Within minutes I was browsing profiles of families to au pair for, sending applications and setting up Skype calls to verify my/their legitimacy. And for where, you might ask? Where would I take up this au pairing business? My travel bug decided Italy. It felt right. (continued in comments)