The movie theater is a two hour long escape. I can voyeuristically dive into whatever story I choose. Moreover, once I’m sitting in that squishy seat, popcorn and smuggled beverage in hand, I could really be anywhere in the world. A cinema looks the same on the inside everywhere: dark. You get to forget where you are and who you are even it it’s just for the afternoon.
I am perhaps lucky in that I’m from the states and Hollywood movies have a global reach. I might be seeing it a few months later, but watching movies while abroad I feel like I could easily be in my hometown brushing popcorn off my shirt.
I don’t often feel homesick. Over the past ten years, I have lived outside of the house that I still claim as my “permanent residence” due to my constantly impermanent location. It’s now been well over a year since I’ve been back to the states. Technology like Skype allows me to talk to—and see—my family about once a week. Now that a hemisphere separates us, I speak with them more than I did when I was only a three hour drive away. Although I’m still very “connected,” I’ve started feeling those telltale pangs of homesickness in the past few weeks or so. This is maybe fueled by the knowledge that my trip back is impending, so I’m now homesick in anticipation of my return.
Endings are bittersweet—especially when it’s the end of something that you’ve enjoyed so much. I’m ready to bring this chapter of my life to a close. Ready to start all over again yet again. I’m a little nervous for my return but looking forward to being back and seeing everyone. I’m excited to start a more permanent life. To not worry about fitting it all in two suitcases. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t still hard to say “good-bye.”
So with these ambivalent feelings about the end to my two-year-and-four-month adventure in Argentina, I’m turning to my own prescription: a trip to the movies. I get to sit back and relax, and I don’t have to worry about fitting two years in two suitcases for a few hours.