We have quite a few members who have just started the game, plenty that have returned to scratching their heads as they figure it out again, and the die hards that never left. In all that group there are plenty of people to help you have fun with it again from the ground up.
If you have not tried contacting ArenaNet about the old account, I would do so if you feel there was enough there to be worth it. I'm not sure how long you played or what you managed to acquire in the game. That will have to be up to you to determine the effort to sort out the access. If you only played the first year, you probably don't have crafting maxed, or ascended gear, etc. It isn't that hard to get going from scratch if you have to. Most of the work comes with catching up on later stuff and the Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire additions.
Whether you get the old one sorted out or go from scratch, your account has to be associated to the NA and not EU. You want to be on Sanctum of Rall to ensure if you go into WvW with us you are on the same side. Only WvW cares about the server being Sanctum of Rall. PvE is like a big megaserver for all of NA server setups.
No matter what you do, you will be with a crew of people with some that started this game in the past couple of months to people that never left. There is plenty of help to keep you going whether you get the old account sorted out or dive in fresh.