I don’t know about any of you, but I love meeting new people! That’s actually one of my main reasons I want to travel; to get to meet people from all over the world and hear their unique stories. As you all know I will be going to Au Pair in Paris without personally knowing anyone, let alone the family I will be staying with for the year.
I never thought that I would be able to connect with so many people before I actually even set foot in the country that I’m going so that part has made the experience a lot more comforting and less frightening.! I feel the same way I did the summer before I left for my first year of university. I was going into a new place , studying a new language ( I went to a french university & studied immersion) in a foreign town without knowing anyone. The difference this time is that I have been able to talk to talk to people before I actually get there making the whole experience completely different, and honestly so much better.
1. Facebook Groups
This has been the number one place that I have been able to meet other Au pairs that will be living in Paris! I originally joined the Au Pair Network Facebook group which then lead to connecting with other people going to Paris, so then we created our own group just consisting of au pairs that will be there for the 2014-2015 year!
The use of Facebook has been great! It’s fast, and the notifications go right to my phone when other members comment on posts. You can also create events and invite people to them which will be great once I get there! There is an annual Au pair picnic in Paris which I got invited to through Facebook and currently there are over 100 people attending! That’s 1/6 of the total people that live in my hometown here in Nova Scotia!
It’s also been helpful when I’ve had questions about pretty much anything! I’m able to ask anything and receive answers from someone almost instantaneously. I will ask a question before I got o sleep and then by the time I wake up in the morning it’s been answered, along with multiple new friend requests from people from all over the world. I’ve even found other girls who will going to the same school as I am as well.
Something that I haven’t liked about using Facebook would be the multiple requests from these “Meet-up exchanges” accounts. I actually added one once because I thought ” oh it will be good to be notified on the events taking place” but NO, it became way too often and half of the events were irrelevant to me. I mean sorry, but I’m not interested in Salsa dancing with old men.
When I first heard of this website I just figured it would come in handy when I needed a place to spend the night but once I actually looked into what it has to offer I was hooked! You can search what events are going on in the area that you will be travelling to! I’m actually going to Maine for a couple days and used this site to connect with people who live there to see if anyone wanted to meet up and also what things I should do while I’m there! I defiantly will be using this site in the future when I plan my backpacking trip next year or even when attending events happening in Paris!
This was the first site that I found when I was searching for Au pairs that would be in Paris! I didn’t really like it at first because you have to write a short biography every time that you want to join a group but all in all, I was still able to connect with others! Something that I do enjoy about this media site is that there are so many different groups in the same area. For instance I’m a member on the Au pairs in Paris, Canadians in Paris, and Girls in Paris Meet up groups allowing me to meet more people and be involved in more activities.
4. Blogs & Instagram
When I first started looking into Au pairing I searched the tag “Au pair” on tumblr and found a lot of sites but they were very broad and the locations would range from all over the world. It was helpful just for general information about Au pairing in general, but it was difficult to find people in Paris specifically. I also use My WordPress feed to keep up to date on posts from blogs that I have found throughout my searches! Using Instagram I was able to find users but it took a lot of searching ! I actually came across quite a few users that I had already met form another social media website.
I’m sure that there are many other ways to connect with other travelers on the web but these have been the ones that I have found useful!
All in all I’m extremely happy to be able to have met so many fellow travelers before even arriving in France! It makes the whole situation a lot less frightening knowing that I will have at least friends there once I arrive and I won’t be alone. I’m really excited to meet everyone that I have already had a chance to talk to and look forward to meeting more people once I get there!