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Princesses, Pop Stars, Me & IWH

Princesses, Pop Stars, Me & IWH

Author -  Vicki Kenny

Princesses, Pop Stars, Me & the birth of International Working Holidays

Most of you reading this won't remember 1991 !

It was the year I headed off for my Big OE to the UK. 

The Gulf War was on at the time so planes had to fly the long way round, over Greenland to get there. 

The planes were eerily empty. It was not uncommon to have 4 seats to yourself. Keep in mind that was in a time when a flight to the UK was equivalent to about $5000 in todays money. No budget airlines back then.

There was no Euro, and Germany still had Deutsch Mark... Terrorists existed except they were just a different type and different religion. Several IRA bombs went off in London while I lived there

I arrived to cold and fog and rows and rows of Coronation Street houses all joined together. I didn't have much money so I quickly registered with a temp agency. 

We didn't have mobile phones back then (I know!!!),  so I had to stay home in our little flat, every morning, all morning, waiting for the landline to ring with a job. So no sightseeing, just fog and only enough money for toast and peanut butter for meals. At this point I could see how people just gave up and went home. It wasn't the Big OE I had imagined. 

I finally got a few jobs and some even lasted a few weeks but it wasn't really any way to live. Travelling an hour each way on the tube, and being inside all day wasn't really my idea of a working holiday. What's more I couldn't afford to take any time off to go to Europe or even see England..

My friend who I met on the plane, actually we met at the airport in Australia where I left from after a short holiday, was nannying and she told me her employers had a friend who needed a nanny. My first thought was "I don't even like kids much!" But I went along for the interview and got the job!!

Once I got used to the kids and how to handle them I realised nannying was a much better way to live and work, it had so many good points. 

I got to eat proper food, it was all provided, I lived in a nice area in SW London and unlike where our flat was in Tooting, people didn't spit on the pavement in Fulham. I was surrounded by nice cafes, parks and restaurants. 

Plus it was way more central. I could never afford to flat there so this was the perks of living in.

I had time to take long weekend holidays - I went to Paris by myself one holiday weekend. I also managed to spend weekends away within the UK. Edinburgh was only a few hours drive away.

I saw a few famous people - Madonna jogging, Eric Clapton doing the school run, and I went to a kids birthday party with special guests - Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice! The photo below is my boss telling me (in purple top) to go stand behind them while she took a photo - I was too embarrassed to do that so I just walked past pretending not to care LOL. 

IWH Nannies Abroad Big OE Vicki-2.JPG

The downsides were that there really wasn't any time off if I was at home, unless the kids were asleep. 

They woke up early - every day, and every weekend I'd be woken up by the Barbie Sports car being pushed right outside my bedroom door. They were trying to be quiet lol. 

Still I formed strong bonds with the kids, especially the little one who was only 11 months old when I started. I got to see her walk and I'll always remember the day she cried while her Mum was holding her, when I left to go out after work. 

IWH Nannies Abroad Big OE Vicki-4.JPG

I moved on from this job to another, then a year later to my last job which was my favourite. The job was for a Lord & Lady, and I am still in touch with these kids on Facebook, the oldest, Ben, who was 10 when I left, is now 30 some thing and married! 

IWH Nannies Abroad Big OE Vicki-1.JPG

Yikes.

In between times I travelled to France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Monaco, and Turkey. I saw bands I could never see live at home: Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Duran Duran to name a few. I went to the Glastonbury festival which in those days was a lot less mainstream with ACDC, Skid Row, and Metallica front-lining. I went to South Africa for three months and lived and worked in Cape Town for a bit (before we got fired for not having a working holiday visa!). 

I digress....

The people I was working for would always ask "do you have any friends that want a job" so I started finding my friends jobs. 

By the time I was thinking about heading home they were encouraging me to carry on with that once I got home. 

Well that's what I did. 

The difference between myself and everyone else placing nannies in London was that I was looking at things from the nanny perspective and all other agencies were owned by "mothers" who would only really see the jobs from the parents perspective. They forgot that most Kiwis and Aussies were there to see Europe on their off time. 

I returned to NZ in 1993 and after some research started Nannies Abroad. 

The following year we became the NZ agent for the Au Pair in America program and we were the first agency in NZ to send nannies to USA legally. 

IWH Office 2002.JPG

And we haven't looked back since!

On Sept 10th 2001 I was awarded the NZ agency for Camp America, which is the brother program to Au Pair in America. The next morning I woke up to Sept 11! 

Yikes, again. 

Since that we have seen the Iraq war, SARS, bird flu, Hurricane Katrina, volcanoes, terrorism and much more - yet we still keep doing what we do best - sending young kiwis overseas and we specialise in finding them work before they leave home which adds financial security and saves time. 

We still find kiwi nannies nanny jobs in England too! 

After doing my OE I encourage everyone to get out and explore the world and to live and work in another country for at least a year. It changes you for the better, helps you get perspective on your life and helps you become financially and emotionally independent from your parents (which really is a good thing).

Our programmes now include volunteering with wildlife in South Africa, at orphanages, teaching English in Fiji and Thailand as well as working with rescued horses and wildlife in USA, Thailand, China and Canada.

I still own and manage the business myself, so we're proudly kiwi owned and managed. We have 23 years experience and therefore we are the longest running NZ owned international placement agency in NZ.

And damn proud of it.

I have an awesome team of passionate people who all want the same thing - to help other kiwis have the best overseas working holiday that they possibly can. We love it.


Our websites:

www.campamerica.co.nz

www.nanniesabroad.co.nz

www.iwh.co.nz

Princesses, Pop Stars, Me & IWH

I started International Working Holidays after spending three years on my own amazing OE. I came home wanted one thing - to help as many kiwis as possible to experience the very cool thing that is the Kiwi Big OE

Princesses, Pop Stars, Me & the birth of International Working Holidays

Most of you reading this won't remember 1991 !

It was the year I headed off for my Big OE to the UK. 

The Gulf War was on at the time so planes had to fly the long way round, over Greenland to get there. 

The planes were eerily empty. It was not uncommon to have 4 seats to yourself. Keep in mind that was in a time when a flight to the UK was equivalent to about $5000 in todays money. No budget airlines back then.

There was no Euro, and Germany still had Deutsch Mark... Terrorists existed except they were just a different type and different religion. Several IRA bombs went off in London while I lived there

I arrived to cold and fog and rows and rows of Coronation Street houses all joined together. I didn't have much money so I quickly registered with a temp agency. 

We didn't have mobile phones back then (I know!!!),  so I had to stay home in our little flat, every morning, all morning, waiting for the landline to ring with a job. So no sightseeing, just fog and only enough money for toast and peanut butter for meals. At this point I could see how people just gave up and went home. It wasn't the Big OE I had imagined. 

I finally got a few jobs and some even lasted a few weeks but it wasn't really any way to live. Travelling an hour each way on the tube, and being inside all day wasn't really my idea of a working holiday. What's more I couldn't afford to take any time off to go to Europe or even see England..

My friend who I met on the plane, actually we met at the airport in Australia where I left from after a short holiday, was nannying and she told me her employers had a friend who needed a nanny. My first thought was "I don't even like kids much!" But I went along for the interview and got the job!!

Once I got used to the kids and how to handle them I realised nannying was a much better way to live and work, it had so many good points. 

I got to eat proper food, it was all provided, I lived in a nice area in SW London and unlike where our flat was in Tooting, people didn't spit on the pavement in Fulham. I was surrounded by nice cafes, parks and restaurants. 

Plus it was way more central. I could never afford to flat there so this was the perks of living in.

I had time to take long weekend holidays - I went to Paris by myself one holiday weekend. I also managed to spend weekends away within the UK. Edinburgh was only a few hours drive away.

I saw a few famous people - Madonna jogging, Eric Clapton doing the school run, and I went to a kids birthday party with special guests - Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice! The photo below is my boss telling me (in purple top) to go stand behind them while she took a photo - I was too embarrassed to do that so I just walked past pretending not to care LOL. 

IWH Nannies Abroad Big OE Vicki-2.JPG

The downsides were that there really wasn't any time off if I was at home, unless the kids were asleep. 

They woke up early - every day, and every weekend I'd be woken up by the Barbie Sports car being pushed right outside my bedroom door. They were trying to be quiet lol. 

Still I formed strong bonds with the kids, especially the little one who was only 11 months old when I started. I got to see her walk and I'll always remember the day she cried while her Mum was holding her, when I left to go out after work. 

IWH Nannies Abroad Big OE Vicki-4.JPG

I moved on from this job to another, then a year later to my last job which was my favourite. The job was for a Lord & Lady, and I am still in touch with these kids on Facebook, the oldest, Ben, who was 10 when I left, is now 30 some thing and married! 

IWH Nannies Abroad Big OE Vicki-1.JPG

Yikes.

In between times I travelled to France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Monaco, and Turkey. I saw bands I could never see live at home: Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Duran Duran to name a few. I went to the Glastonbury festival which in those days was a lot less mainstream with ACDC, Skid Row, and Metallica front-lining. I went to South Africa for three months and lived and worked in Cape Town for a bit (before we got fired for not having a working holiday visa!). 

I digress....

The people I was working for would always ask "do you have any friends that want a job" so I started finding my friends jobs. 

By the time I was thinking about heading home they were encouraging me to carry on with that once I got home. 

Well that's what I did. 

The difference between myself and everyone else placing nannies in London was that I was looking at things from the nanny perspective and all other agencies were owned by "mothers" who would only really see the jobs from the parents perspective. They forgot that most Kiwis and Aussies were there to see Europe on their off time. 

I returned to NZ in 1993 and after some research started Nannies Abroad. 

The following year we became the NZ agent for the Au Pair in America program and we were the first agency in NZ to send nannies to USA legally. 

IWH Office 2002.JPG

And we haven't looked back since!

On Sept 10th 2001 I was awarded the NZ agency for Camp America, which is the brother program to Au Pair in America. The next morning I woke up to Sept 11! 

Yikes, again. 

Since that we have seen the Iraq war, SARS, bird flu, Hurricane Katrina, volcanoes, terrorism and much more - yet we still keep doing what we do best - sending young kiwis overseas and we specialise in finding them work before they leave home which adds financial security and saves time. 

We still find kiwi nannies nanny jobs in England too! 

After doing my OE I encourage everyone to get out and explore the world and to live and work in another country for at least a year. It changes you for the better, helps you get perspective on your life and helps you become financially and emotionally independent from your parents (which really is a good thing).

Our programmes now include volunteering with wildlife in South Africa, at orphanages, teaching English in Fiji and Thailand as well as working with rescued horses and wildlife in USA, Thailand, China and Canada.

I still own and manage the business myself, so we're proudly kiwi owned and managed. We have 23 years experience and therefore we are the longest running NZ owned international placement agency in NZ.

And damn proud of it.

I have an awesome team of passionate people who all want the same thing - to help other kiwis have the best overseas working holiday that they possibly can. We love it.


Our websites:

www.campamerica.co.nz

www.nanniesabroad.co.nz

www.iwh.co.nz

Princesses, Pop Stars, Me & IWH

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