Love Swap from Austria to Cali & Back
Contributing Author: Alexandra Thonhofer
How it all Started
I want to start with telling you about me. My name is Alex (Alexandra) and I am 24 years old. I was born and grew up in Salzburg, Austria. After schools, internships, work and college I decided to go to the States as an Au Pair and that's how it all started.
I have always been in love with traveling but I wanted more. I wanted to live somewhere else and not just travel there to see the touristy parts. I wanted to live the life in the States and see for myself how it really is, not just knowing it from TV. I matched with my host family in January 2016 and moved to Sacramento, California in March 2016. I had so many plans, travel, make friends, go to the gym, be an amazing nanny like Mary Poppins, live the California life and under no circumstances fall in love! Back home everybody said i will meet a guy and fall in love and never come back to Austria. But I love Austria and my family and my friends so I said nope that won’t happen. I wanted to stay with my host family one year, then move to another family to live on the east coast for my second year. And then…. BOOOM. Hello Elliot!
He changed all my plans, he made it all different AND BETTER!!
Love in California
I met Elliot only 2 weeks after I moved to the states. To be honest it wasn't love at first sight but we spent every free minute together. And me starting loving each other. Elliot showed me a side of California I would have never seen without him. And damn, time is going by fast. Taking care of 4 children is a lot of work, exploring California at the same time and before you know it 9 months are over and I had to choose if I wanted to stay with my host family and Elliot or if I want to switch to the east coast and as you can remember from the first few lines you were reading that's what I originally wanted. It wasn't a hard choice at that point. My host family was great. Yes the kids were annoying (as kids can be) but my host mom was great, beautiful house, I lived in the pool house, had my own car and Elliot was allowed to come over any time (what's not normal for host families a lot of them are strictly against having guys in the house) and the kids loved Elliot. So my decision was clear, I am staying in California and give me and Elliot a real chance. And well what can I say. It was totally worth it. Married one year now.
If you live in another country, without your friends and without your family you can feel very lonely. Sometimes work sucks and you are homesick, especially on holidays or your birthday. And then you meet someone and they make the hard times easier. But there it is, the million dollar question, what to do next?
You have fallen in love with an American but you want to go back to your own country. Don't get me wrong I love California. I love the states and now that I am back I am feeling homesick but Austria is amazing and I always wanted to come back. I got very lucky, I found a guy who was willing to go with me. Jackpot! And here we are 3 years later, married, in Austria. Missing California but very happy.
Keep reading and I will tell you more about me and my hubby Elliot and our life in Austria. How it all worked with the visa, how our wedding was and how it is for Elliot to life in a new country with a new language and culture.
I won't lie, I won't tell you everything is perfect all the time and ponies and rainbows. I will tell you the real story about life as a traveler and expat. Good times and Bad times. So bare with me and get to know us, it won’t be boring.