The Jumping Off Point

January 2017. My final month in Ottawa, the city where I was born and raised. I was set to embark on February 10th for my year of exchange, and the only thing between me and Santiago was a school-free month to say farewell to friends and family, pack my bags, and relax a bit before heading off. Seemed like a piece of cake at the time. Oddly enough, January turned out to be one of the more challenging months, mentally and emotionally, that I have experienced in the past few years of my life. I imagine that some of you reading this have gone through that strange and emotionally complex period of time where all you can think of is a date on a plane ticket and what awaits you beyond it, and perhaps those who have will relate to some of what I write about in this blog. However, for those who have not yet gone on exchange, or perhaps are waiting to depart this summer, I hope that this post can help prepare you for what many people (including myself) often overlook about moving abroad; the final moments prior to embarking. Let’s call them the Jumping Off Point. Continue reading “The Jumping Off Point”

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Nice to Meet You All

in this post: I will describe why this blog is a thing that is happening

Hello Blog Readers.

Welcome to an experiment. I will start this blog series off by saying that I have never blogged before in my life. I have barely been able to keep a journal going for more than a few weeks. I have always found it basically impossible to write in any sort of reflective manner without sounding a) overly introspective/neurotic, b) like I’m trying too hard to be funny, or c) really annoying. So bear with me on this one.

My name is Isaac, I am a 20-year-old Canadian university student on exchange for the year in Santiago, Chile. I spent my entire life up to this point living in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, where I went to elementary, middle and high school and spent the first two years of my university career. Moving to a new school, in a new city, in a new country, in a new continent is what many people would call a “huge life step,” so hopefully it will also provide me with interesting content to write about.

I’ve started this blog for a number of reasons. First off, I was asked by my school to write a few blogs for their website, as a part of an ongoing exchange student blog project. I thought it would be interesting to take that further, and create a page of my own where I could post content more regularly and in multiple forms. Secondly, coming from a large Jewish family, I am already dreading the prospect of having to separately explain how my year was to every individual member of my extended family (whom I love very much of course) upon returning to Canada. I hope that this blog will help to preemptively answer some of the questions I inevitably will receive when I get home in December. Lastly, I’m aiming for this blog to help describe and articulate the whirlwind of excitement, confusion, frustration, and elation that living in a new culture can put you through. Maybe it will help some of you down the road, maybe it will help me by forcing me to reflect on my experiences; who knows!

With that being said, I’ll keep this intro short and sweet! Hasta luego, and I hope to see you all at the next post!