My name is Moira. I’m twenty years old, and I was born and raised in Vancouver. I’ve wanted to do a year abroad since before I even applied to UBC, and I knew I wanted to do a full year, not just a term. I’ve lived on the West Coast (best coast) all my life. This year I wanted to test myself: to see if I could build a life in somewhere completely new.
So I came to Grenoble. Honestly I don’t even remember why I put Grenoble in my top three choices for Go Global, other than the fact that I can’t live without the mountains – just one of the many side effects of being a West Coast girl born and bred. But in the three months since I arrived here I’ve fallen in love. It’s so hard for me to imagine that just three short months ago all the people I’ve met, all the places I’ve seen, all the experiences I’ve had simply did not exist for me.
Before I left I tried to find blogs of people in a similar position to me: a student, leaving their hometown for the first time, diving into a world thousands of kilometres away from everything and everyone they’d ever known. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, but I couldn’t find one. So this blog is not about how fantastic my life on exchange is (even though frankly I think it’s pretty freaking awesome), this is not a comprehensive list of every single city I’ve been to on my year abroad, this is neither a travel guide nor a souped-up, glorified version of a pre-teen diary. This is me, trying to show you just how wide your mind can be opened the moment you step off the plane into a new culture, because they don’t tell you that part. They tell you there’s a world out there. They tell you that you’ll discover it someday. But they can’t explain how you’ll discover an unknown world within yourself, and they can’t describe how when you throw yourself into a new life on the other side of this little planet, both these worlds somehow manage to grow and shrink by colossal proportions at the same time.