Hi! I’m Graeme, and The Great Affair is where I collect together my travel writing, photography and video work. It’s part of Straylight, where you can find some of my other projects.
I didn’t take my first flight until I was in my 20’s, but in the decade since then I racked up a hundred – plus plenty of trains, boats, and a few pairs of hiking boots. I caught the travel bug properly as a grad student, when I discovered that conferences and collaborations offered both the opportunity and financial support to see the world, plus the benefit of local contacts to smooth the way. Postdoc life upped the budget, and got me into the miles and points game. The spoils of those kept me moving during a year of re-training, and by the time I was ready to leave academia, it was for a stint in aviation: three years across British Airways and Bristol Airport.
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to travel, but if you’re looking for non-stop first class luxury on the one hand, or year-long authentically painful backpacking trips on the other, then this blog probably isn’t for you (and that’s fine!). I’m not a connoisseur of fine food or drink, and have very little appreciation of the arts. But I enjoy finding unusual activities or one-off events; believe the best way to explore a city is on foot; and have endless enthusiasm for both architecture and nature, which tend to dominate my photography. AS the strap-line suggests, I’m also interested in the act of getting somewhere: whether by trying an unfamiliar airline or aircraft; chaining together several destinations; and / or taking the slow route by train. Hopefully one of my improbable itineraries can introduce you to somewhere or something new!
This particular site has been in place since Spring of 2014, but the content is compiled from a range of much older sources, both online and off; in particular, I use it to catalogue and supplement my reports for flyertalk. To make it easier to tell what might still be current, I backdate entries to when the visit in question occurred; this means that the archives may quietly grow with time… The categories on the right also group some posts into trips, and by geographic region. For now the emphasis is on international travel, but there’s no shortage of destinations around my home country of the UK worth discussing, and I hope to document some of those too!