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I'll Be Home for Christmas

The sun is setting at Orly, Paris airport, and I have my usual pre-flight glass of wine by my side. Once more, I've packed my bags, and I’m headed to the South of France.

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The year is wrapping up and I feel a sense of relief.

Last New Year’s Eve I flew home from France, moved in with a friend, and started the year by officially ending my short lived marriage on an ice cold winter day in a busy coffee shop.

I had no idea how hard it would be.  I'm glad I didn't.  I barely made it through the winter months, ran away to LA, and left Toronto when it all became too much.  Then it was Europe. I started in Berlin where I had my first taste of freedom and excitement for my new life. Then Northern Ireland, where I sobbed at my cousin’s wedding because it was still too soon.  Then London. Then home in France. The beginning of my nomadic reality.

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I’ve packed and unpacked my suitcase so many times year. Me, my big purple bag and my credit cards are worn out.

In a lot of ways it was a year of loss and leaving. I lost my love, my home, left my job and Canada. On two separate occasions I lost my passport, money and identification. On several occasions I lost all sense of self.

But the gains. The beautiful gains. So many great experiences, new friendships, places, skills, and maybe even a little happy weight gain from living so well. I’ve lived the way I always wanted to. I’ve taken risks. I’ve seen dreams realized. I’ve made more than one city my home.  I remind myself of this when it hurts or I feel worn out from it all.

What now? I'm not sure.  Maybe something more stable.  Maybe I'll keep moving.  I have to sort out the details and get some money in the bank.

First I go home, to France, to my loving parents and sleepy little village to celebrate Christmas.

I hope you're all warm with love and feeling excited about life.  Whatever your year has been like, we've got a new one coming up, and I think it's going to be a good one.

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GeneralGillian Young