Living abroad can be the first opportunity for expatriates to explore employing help at home. It is often a new concept for many from some western countries where such services are not always affordable to an average working to middle-class family. However, after living in other regions of the world, I came to realize that maids, nannies, cleaners, drivers, gardeners, and cooks are part of everyday life. As a child living in the Caribbean, I grew up with a housekeeper always working at some level around the house. Once I moved to the USA, that changed. When I returned to living abroad on my own, however, I reintegrated the assistance back into my daily life.
During the past fourteen years living in the US and abroad, I have taken advantage of hiring housekeepers in a part-time status. I generally have a person do all major household chores anywhere from two to three times per week for two-three hours per day. As a result, I have also benefited from learning about my housekeeper’s culture, tradition, a bit of language, and celebrations. I also appreciated my freedom to do other things while my home was being cleaned.