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Returning to Paris: Part 1 (The Arrival)

At the airport before flying to Toronto, and then onto Paris, I wrote this: "It's been two years since I left you. Almost thirty years that I've loved you.

When I last saw you my life was still in shreds. I was traveling through Europe and living out of my carry on with no real home and shreds of myself to cling on to. Around this time I received a love letter from a man I would later love (he now occupies my heart). I left to Canada to pursue a dream and never came back, partly because the memories of a life broken into pieces left me feeling fragmented all over again.

I am now coming back to you whole. Lighter. Happier. I must admit I'm nervous. But I've been shedding light on all the dark days of my past, and Paris, my love, you always did know how to shine for me. I'll be seeing you."

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I had a lot of angst about going to Paris. One day, while talking to a friend, I realized why. It was my last stop before I really began to rebuild my life. When I thought about it all of those old feelings came back to haunt me... the questioning, the self doubt, the fear, the loss, and the loneliness. I was in the midst of a life overhaul and my heart was heavy as a brick. When I thought about Paris I was reminded of that weight, and it was time to let go of it.

Once I realized this, I got excited. I WAS GOING TO PARIS! I was going to see my family! I was returning a better, happier, and much lighter person emotionally.

I met Marisa at the airport in Toronto, and then we began our trip in the best way possible with business class seats (luck of the stand by draw!)

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Flying business class has to be one of the greatest luxuries in life. I did not take one second or one glass of Champagne for granted.

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When we landed I called our Air Bnb contact and we jumped into a cab to this amazing place. My mom is officially the champion of choosing great apartments, and this three bedroom, three bathroom pad owned by a creative young theatre couple was no exception.

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In typical Gillian and Marisa fashion, we dropped our bags and skipped to the grocery store to stock up on our favourite French food products: yogurt, cheese, produce and wine.

Soon my sweet mama arrived and the fun began. We took naps, went out for a feast, and got ready for a big day at market the next day. More on that in part 2.

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TravelGillian Young