When I was a pre-teen, babysitting meant tax-free cash in my pocket for dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant or a PG-13 movie with girlfriends at the drive-in theater.
Today, babysitting has a whole new name and job description. On Tuesday, May 17, I began my new job as an au pair when I boarded a string of flights delivering me to Singapore.
Going from drive-in movies and Americanized Mexican food to being paid to travel the world. Talk about an upgrade.
The Edwards, my uncle and aunt, are taking up their roles as my employers. They are both exceptional business people with skills that are incomprehensible. Here's to hoping some of that rubs off on me while I'm under their direction.
My job description entails a summer of traveling throughout Asia and Europe with two kids teetering along behind me. Work and family are colliding as I take up care for my cousins, Lachlan (La-K-len) and Khue (pronounced Qu-A).
Lachlan just turned 10 and is smarter that many college students I know. Khue is 12 and kicks butt in practically every sport. I wish I was exaggerating. I may be a sophomore at Auburn, but I have no doubt that these kids are going to school me.
The majority of my time in Asia will be spent in Singapore. My journey throughout Asia will also include brief stops in Hanoi, Vietnam and Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
One continent isn't enough for this family.
My uncle's work is moving the family and their lovely au pair to Europe. With two houses, the family and I will be jumping from The Hague in The Netherlands to Kent, London.
Kent is a two-hour train ride from 'the city of love', or in my case 'the city of stuffed faces and fat pants'. Paris will be a common day trip for the kids and I.
I am preparing for the trip as any other young American woman would. I've complained for hours about the size of my luggage. In my efforts to get what I want, I've used the, "But, I'm leaving for three months," card enough to make my parents wish I was already gone. I've said goodbyes, eaten as much Zaxby's as I could and taken advantage of my time in the States by binge watching Netflix as much as humanly possible. I'm down to the last 3 episodes of Friends.
I will be boarding a total of 3 flights. The longest flight is a total of 19 hours in the air, which isn't good news for a spunky blonde with ADHD. I say, "Godspeed and good luck," to my seat buddies.
The jet-lag, numb-buttocks and swollen limbs will be worth it when I land in the ever-so-sunny Singapore. I can only imagine what lies ahead for me this summer.
Cooking more than eating, cleaning till I smell like bleach and caring for little ones doesn't seem so bad when you're traveling the world.
Stay tuned to find out what happens when a southern journalism student becomes a nanny and goes country hopping.