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There's No Place Like Home (or Coney Island)

by Elaine Chernov


It's funny how being on foreign soil can make you long for your own sandy shore. Elaine Chernov, a Fathom reader, shares her rose-colored photographs of homecoming day.

A trip to the Middle East — my first solo adventure — went a bit awry when I had all my important belongings stolen while camping in the Negev Desert. After a challenging recovery period, and a new passport from the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, things picked up. I finished the trip on borrowed money, coupled with a lot of fist-shaking at the desert's nomadic tribes.

After about 20 hours in transit, I made it to New York City with a one-day layover before my final leg to Chicago. Friends picked me up and spent the day re-assimilating me into American culture by way of Coney Island. I'd been there before on a spring break trip in college, but the park had been closed for the last several years. This visit coincided with the reopening of Luna Park. I took it as a sign.

After some classic American fare, namely a Dunkin' Donuts coffee and a Nathan's Famous hot dog, I took a few snapshots while relishing the sunshine. Surrounded by carnival games and Puerto Rican families, it couldn't feel more like home. After a thrilling ride on the rickety, American flag-topped Cyclone, I finally breathed a sign of relief.

As much as I love traveling, I have a new appreciation for home.

Elaine is an art director/designer living in Chicago. She has never been sad to come home. She travels to get lost.


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