Sandpoint teen packing bags to explore the world

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(Courtesy photo) Later this month, Sandpoint teen Clint Miller will begin working as an au pair in Holland, giving him an opportunity to travel and see the world.

SANDPOINT — Born and raised in Sandpoint, Clint Miller is now packing his bags to embark on a worldwide adventure.

The 18 year old recently graduated from INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy, and in a couple of weeks will head to Holland to work as an au pair. As he was getting closer to graduating, Miller said it was time to decide what he “really” wanted to do. One thing he knew he did not want was to take the traditional four-year college route, as he didn’t want to land himself in student loan debt. He ultimately found his answer — he wants to see the world.

“I want to get out and experience other cultures and see other places, and meet new people with different ideas,” Miller said.

Miller said the idea to become an au pair came from a friend who did a semester of high school on a sailboat, traveling around the world. He has always been around kids as his mom was a special education teacher. Being home-schooled, Miller said he grew up in the classroom helping with the kids a few days a week. He has also worked at summer camps and loves children, he said, which is why the au pair idea was a perfect fit.

He discovered a website, aupairworld.com, which he described as being similar to a dating app, though it is for matching young adults with families. So he logged on, created his profile and started talking to families in Paris, Ireland and Spain. It wasn’t until he talked to the family in the Netherlands, however, that he knew he found his match. They had three boys, and Miller is the youngest of three boys. During the online video interview, the boys were playing, having fun and telling him about their Harry Potter wands. That made up his mind because, not only does he like Harry Potter, he likes kids who enjoy being kids.

“We had a couple more interviews and it just worked — it is just a really cool family,” Miller said. “They really liked my ideas of playing with (the kids) and trying to embrace their culture, and they want to get to know my culture. So it was just a really good fit, right off the bat.”

Miller will typically work three days a week, which will give him plenty of time for traveling around Europe on his days off. He will also have five weeks of paid vacation time, allowing for longer trips to Italy, Spain, Ireland and some of the places he wants to visit that are a bit further away. In addition, the family is taking him to Africa, where they will spend a week in Cape Verde. The family also has a vacation home on the North Sea, so he said he will be doing quite a bit of traveling with them as well.

Miller said while he has traveled a fair amount within the United States, he has only been out of the country once when he went to Canada. Miller said the excitement of the unknown is what he is looking for.

“I want to be put into an element where I don’t know anything,” he said. “I think that will help me become a better person.”

His visa is good for one year, he said, after which he will need to come back to the United States. He is leaving his options open for now as to whether he will stay or continue on as an au pair for awhile. For a long-term career, Miller said he wants to go into real estate development.

Miller has attended INSPIRE, an online public school, since second grade, which allowed him to work two jobs in high school as well. He works at Uptown Bagel in Sandpoint and the Dish at Dover Bay. His goal, he said, is to do it all on his own, though his parents are “very” supportive as he heads out to discover his passion.

“I think my passion is just trying to keep myself happy,” Miller said.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonner countydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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