Hello, welcome, and thanks for visiting! This site is about two of my favorite things: Travel and Photography.
It’s sometimes hard to figure out where to start when you find a new website. Let me help you. First, read this. It’s just one post, but it best summarizes my travel style and what this website is really all about:
If you enjoyed that post, you’ll probably enjoy this site. Now that you know all about my travel style, here’s some background on the website:
I enjoy the journey as much as the destination, and I feel at home on long flights. I love that you can board an airplane knowing the next time you set foot on the ground you’ll be thousands of miles away.
Airplanes fly the most direct routes possible, and the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. Take a globe and connect any two points in the same hemisphere with a piece of string. The farther away your points are, the closer your string will be to the pole. Want to fly from Atlanta to Munich? Head northeast towards Iceland. Want to fly from Chicago to Hong Kong? Bring a good book and head directly toward the north pole. It’s a polar route and it’s gonna be a long flight.
Oddly enough, I also really like cold weather, so “The Polar Route” seemed an especially fitting name for this website. Here’s a picture of me trying desperately to zip up my coat during a snow storm in Siberia. I suppose I look pretty miserable so you’ll have to believe me when I say I was having the absolute time of my life. Besides that first trip to London, I always have the time of my life when I travel. There’s nowhere I’ve been that I wouldn’t go back to.
My name’s Ed Graham and when I’m not traveling I’m living at home in Chicago. One of my favorite things to do is absolutely nothing, but somehow I usually end up being constantly busy. I’m always working on a project of some sort, and I tend to pour myself fully into whatever I happen to be working on. I get restless when I sit for too long – which is probably why I love to constantly be on the move exploring new cultures, places, and things.
I always knew I wanted to travel, and in the winter of 2007 I took my first trip abroad. I went to London, and by any practical measure the trip was a miserable failure. For one, I ended up severely jetlagged - it was the first time I had crossed the Atlantic and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was awake at all hours of the night and ridiculously tired during the day. I was also lonely. I had traveled alone and made the mistake of staying in a hotel, not a hostel where I could have met more people. Sure, I enjoyed being somewhere new and seeing some of London’s history, but I was frustrated with my jetlag and loneliness, and admittedly relieved when I got on the plane to go home.
If there’s one thing I truly hate, it’s failing. I had to travel again.
Five continents and thirty something countries later, I’m happy to say that I’m a bit better at traveling now than I was then. I’ve learned much along the way, and travel has grown to become one of my biggest and most rewarding passions in life. I do my best to share my most interesting travel stories and experiences here at The Polar Route. If you want to see more of this world, this website is for you.
Few things go together quite so well as travel and photography, and I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember (not necessarily good ones). It took a long time and many mistakes for me to figure out how to photographically capture what I see and feel in a moment. But through mostly trial and error, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can reliably take the pictures I want to take. In hindsight it wasn’t really all that hard after all. Besides sharing travel stories, my goal with this website is to share some simple techniques that you can use to avoid the same photographic mistakes I’ve made, so that you can become a better photographer far faster than I did. I want to learn from you too, so if you have a better way of doing things please comment and let me know!
If I’m really lucky, I’ll come back from any given trip with anywhere between 10-30 portfolio worthy shots. I’ll then edit and upload them to this website as daily photos.
My images are copyrighted by me and may be used under the Creative Commons Non Commercial license. If you choose to use an image for your non commercial application, please credit the photo to Ed Graham and provide a link back to my website here at www.thepolarroute.com. For commercial applications, contact me.
I invite you to really become a part of it by bookmarking, sharing, leaving a comment, and most of all, returning someday!