A new adventure begins for us upon our return from Papua New Guinea. This is a website project, dedicated to photography and photo stories, that will take us to many places on the planet.
Over the past several years, the photos and the ideas are getting accumulated. But a clear understanding of the full spectrum of our project has come not long before our departure while we were still in Papua New Guinea.
The first ideas are born in Olga’s head. Her ideas can sometimes take you far away, but this one… She has been doing photography since the time of the film camera. Attracted by different customs and traditions, remote and rarely visited places, she used to travel to meet the locals, spend time with them, capture moments of their lives, and learn about their culture.
This time her idea was to travel to different corners of the world for a much longer period of time, in particular, to lesser-known and off-the-beaten-path places, and to create a website to share the images and stories about the unique cultures and traditions. Being exposed through the web is not something that Errol likes the most (no Facebook account or other social networks). But Olga, with her determination and enthusiasm, has made him change his mind.
We take a break in our professional careers
As we are going to dedicate full time to our project for some time, we have to take a break in our professional careers.
We had to go through some ups and downs, and the beginning of the project required a dose of will, a dash of guts, and two people speaking the same language … sometimes it’s not easy 🙂
2016 is a year of movements and changes. We are back from Papua New Guinea (end of 2015), and we have a chance to do our transition in a rural house with a cat in France, near the Swiss border, that a friend left to us to take care of during his expatriation. From this house begins the first phase of our project.
Departure for Thailand
We are in April and we are in Bangkok, still without the website, but with more ideas and a collection of images accumulated over many years of travel.
We do our final shopping. We participate in the Water Festival (Songkran), and this is where Olga’s camera fails. The festival has just started but Olga cannot take pictures. You can imagine her mood. Inevitably, our equipment is then entitled to a series of unfortunate events (broken camera, faulty card reader, which damaged three Compact Flash cards of 64GB), and we have to invest some money. But it also gives us time to explore Bangkok before going to Chiang Mai.
Of course, the unfortunate series continues, with Olga’s favourite mouse failing, and tripod getting stuck. That’s it? Of course, not! The protection for the camera screen is getting broken, and the flash stops working due to the battery’s leak. The flash gets broken one more time later on but this time because of the light bulb. But we managed to get it fixed in Chiang Mai without buying anything.
Heat is at its peak, it’s scorching hot, with the thermometer showing above +40°C but we kill two birds with one stone. We spend our time in the co-working spaces in Chiang Mai, where we work on our web site for 8-10 hours per day and at same time we flee the heat. The co-working space is a wonderful discovery.
We have already heard about it, but this is the first time we experience it first-hand. We were looking for a quiet, air-conditioned place with comfortable tables and chairs (which is not the case in the guesthouse) and above all, a place, where we can concentrate without being tempted by something else.
For those who don’t know, the co-working spaces is a model where everyone, mainly students and people working remotely (the independent and digital nomads), can share a common space for their work. For a small fee (for one day usage or monthly subscription), you are offered modern and comfortable conditions to work – a workstation with air-con and access to Internet. There is another option where you can use a space and Internet (usually for 4 hours) against the purchase of a drink or food.
We found out that there are too many co-working spaces in Chiang Mai, very modern and stylish, spacious and well-equipped. We tried several places, but we ended up working mainly at “Wake Up” located in the trendy Nimman area. “Wake Up” has become our favourite co-working space in Chiang Mai. This is where our website was partially born!
We spent a lot of time developing the design of our website. As we don’t know programming, we needed help with the technical part. We found a professional web developer in Chiang Mai (WEB A WAY) who took care of all technical aspects of our website. He did a great job in creating what Olga had in mind, and this wasn’t easy!
We hit a snag…
Finding the name
The name “any way in a way” was also born in Chiang Mai. Finding a name for our website was more difficult than we thought. We started looking for the name while we were still in Europe, but … nothing. We had many, too many, ideas but nothing like “that’s the one!”. We were thinking about “Guavas and Bananas”, reminding us of the Pacific islands that we were going to cover in our blog. Unpretentious and funny name. But we found out that someone else (our friend photographer!!!!) has already taken this name for the title of his documentary film about a gay community in Papua New Guinea. We had to find something else.
Olga had a revelation one day – the website will be called “Elephants and Ants” reminding us of a variety of countries in the world, big and small, a variety of cultures and traditions etc. The name that sounds nice. But…. the name was taken by a web design company in USA.
Disappointed and discouraged, we stopped thinking about the name for a while. And one day, in Chiang Mai, Errol says: “What do you think about Any Way in a Way”? That’s it, the name has been chosen.
Finding the logo
Finding the logo … it seems to be an easy task but again, there is nothing we like. Errol makes several sketches but none was “yes, that’s it!”. Then our web developer put us in touch with a professional graphic designer and a logo lover, who makes a dozen of versions for us. The symbolism behind the logo is supposed to represent the “any way in a way”, and we have chosen the one that shows that there are always multiple paths.
Our logo is whatever you can imagine – a coral, a tree, roots, a river system, etc. The branch lines come together into a rounded square, and from there, we frame, we zoom, and we focus as we like. The logo is done!
Now we are working on the images and photo stories, and we know that some ideas will pop up along the way. Our website is ready, and we enter into the game in September 2016.
We are going to share with you photos and stories from around the world, about people, places and world’s realities, about unique cultures and traditions. We would like to show you the beauty of our planet as well as the lesser-known, remote and off-the-beaten-path places. We will try to find something interesting in the familiar and show the ordinary places from a different angle. We would also like to offer you new perspective to the comprehension of people, cultures and traditions.
We hope that you will find something for yourself in our images and stories. We also hope that more and more people will read our blog.
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Written by ANYWAYINAWAY
Olga and Errol are the Swiss-Russian couple behind ANYWAYINAWAY. Passionate about unique culture and traditions, they decided to take career breaks and explore the world with the intention to expand awareness and provide new perspectives to the understanding of ethnic minority people, customs, traditions and culture. They also show the beauty of our planet and try to find something interesting in the ordinary.