What is Project Nande?
Nande (pronounced naan-day) means “why” or “how to.” We chose that name because it describes our state of mind as a curious group of photographers backpacking around Chicago in search of new experiences.
If you’ve googled “things to do in Chicago” and were frustrated by the barrage of low effort content telling you to go to Navy Pier and Willis Tower, we’re the antidote to that. If you’re more interested in experiencing what Chicago has to offer beyond what’s usual, then you’ve come to the right place.
Our sole focus is to make it easier for you to find those new experiences and inspire you to visit parts of Chicago you might not otherwise think to see. We’re working on a lot of different media and technology projects in support of that mission and you get access to all of them as a member.
What do I get as a member?
1. Weekly Chicago Travel Essay
As a member, you’ll get a new Chicago travel essay each week and access to our entire library of content. These aren’t Buzzfeed style listicles or low-effort click bait articles. Each week, we set out with our cameras and a notepad in hand to find what we think will most inspire you. These are one part photo essays and one part travel itinerary.
Every Monday we publish and send you a new Chicago travel essay with original photography and writing that tells you where to go, what to do, and how.
2. The Chicago Field Guide Booklet
A couple times a year, we publish in a physical print publication, which we call the Chicago Field Guide. These passport sized field guides are 32 pages, include exclusive content not found on our website, and a bunch of steals, deals, and thrills you can redeem that will cover the cost of an annual membership and then some.
3. Text Message Concierge
You’ll get access to a text message concierge service that will help you navigate Chicago. Want us to plan a date? Just moved here and don’t know where to start? Family or friends visiting and need help making plans? Well all these questions can be answered by our text message concierge.
What’s in the online Chicago travel essays?
You can think of each travel essay as a short itinerary taking you to a couple of different places all connected around a central theme or premise. The idea is that you can pick up any one of our city guides and do it without having to do a lot of additional planning.
Why are your travel essays behind a paywall?
Probably because we’re naive idealists, but also in part because we think digital publications and other travel apps depend far too much on having a huge number of people look at ads. As a result, they often resort to tactics such as publishing click bait articles, producing low-effort content, and shoving pop-up ads in your face.
At the end of the day, we don’t think you need to read another article about the top 50 hamburgers in Chicago, and we certainly don’t want to devolve into doing anything like that to keep the lights on. Instead, we want to ensure that our core focus is on producing high quality original content, and providing an excellent service that makes it easy for you to explore every corner of Chicago.
Are there any travel essays I can check out before signing up?
How does the text message concierge work?
As a member, you’ll get direct access to the Nande team. We’ll provide you with a number that you can text which will put you in direct contact with us. Anything we can do to get you out and about in Chicago, we’ll help you do. A few examples could be helping plan a date or family outing, answering questions about our guides, or putting together a personalized mini-city guide just for you.
The concierge is active from 9am to 9pm everyday. While we can’t promise immediate turnaround on all requests, we’ll do our best to respond and provide you a solution as quickly as we can. For now, the only thing we ask is that you give us at least 24 hours to respond back to you. In most cases we’ll get back to you a lot sooner.
What are your membership options?
“I’ve lived in Chicago for years and there’s so many places I wouldn’t have known about or visited if it wasn’t for Nande.”
– Emily K.
“I love these guides. They’re like little short stories taking you on adventures in the city.”
– Nick L.
“A membership was a no-brainer, I spend more on coffee in a day than the monthly membership”
– Sara S.
Can I gift a membership?
If you’re thinking about gifting a membership, then it’s probably because you’re an incredibly thoughtful and all around good person. We made it easy to gift a membership. Just click on any of the special gifting plans below that you wish to gift! You’ll only be billed once.
I have more questions
If you want to learn more, you can e-mail us at [email protected]