Travel Diary Archives - MAP AND MOVE

Alice makes moves at the Grand Canyon

Day 12: Sleeping in Teepees and Rocking the Grand Canyon

By | OUR TRAVELS, US | No Comments

We’re finally nearing the Grand Canyon, the monumental piece of America that first inspired 15 people to haul ass in 3 hulking (but wonderful) RV’s across 16 states.

We left Wigwam Motel, the kitschy but charmingly 60's hotel in the morning.

We left Wigwam Motel this morning, the last of the charmingly kitschy hotel chain first started in the 1930’s.


Sleeping in fake teepees called “wigwams” in the desert of Arizona- is probably as politically-incorrect as it gets. Yet, who can resist the nostalgic, Disney-esque charm of sleeping in forts like these?

Grand Canyon

2 hours of unexpected traffic later, we made it to the Grand Canyon, the piece of earth that’s been 200 million years in the making.


How’d you get up here?

Alice makes moves at the Grand Canyon

Alice: classically trained pianist, avid yogi, and occasional model for epic American landscapes.

Kel does pose Grand Canyon

Kel: elementary school teacher, nicest guy in the world, and amateur-turned-pro RV driver.

Calvin Sun breakdances the Grand Canyon  Monsoon Diaries

Calvin: ER doctor, founder of TheMonsoonDiaries, and occasional B boy.

2015 RoadTrip Crew Grand Canyon

We’ve come a long way, Route 66 Crew:)

Painted Desert

Day 11: Albuquerque, Painted Desert & Petrified Forest

By | North America, OUR TRAVELS, US | No Comments

We arrived in Albuquerque, NM late last night and this morning, we spent our time ravaging green chile burritos at Frontier, a quirky college spot with homemade tortillas on the menu and rifles on the walls (we did say quirky, didn’t we?).

Old town, Albuquerque.

Our next stop was “Old Town”, the (surprise) oldest part of the city. We took in the chill vibes of the city over some cool, local brews where centuries-old peublo homes have converted to shops, cafes and galleries. In the center rests San Felippe, a charming 300-year-old Parish.

We explored Albuquerque.

Just being weird.

Breaking Bad

We couldn’t leave the city without (of course) finding the house from Breaking Bad. And if you haven’t seen the show yet, please

Dancing in front of Breaking Bad

Oh, just doing some cartwheels in the nabe.


Roadtrip, Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Practicing some moves.

Painted Desert

Painted Desert


Sunset at the Painted Desert

Petrified Wood Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Finding just the perfect angle for a photo opp.

Painted Desert

We had 45 minutes until the national park closed. Possibly the most frantic and amazing sightseeing ever.

Washington DC united states monument capitol

Day 2: Tales from a Chinese kid in Washington D.C.

By | North America, OUR TRAVELS, US | One Comment

Back in 1994, a zit-faced pre-teen sat on the back of a Chinese tour bus on a family trip to Washington D.C.

She loathed the idea of spending her summer with old Chinese ladies peeling oranges into plastic bags. She resented the fact that everyone seemed to have a comment about her looks, height, or grades (or even worst, mistook her sullenness for obedience). And if her mom asked her to fake-smile in one more picture with a statue of a dead man, she thought that she’d scream. (Why was it a prerequisite of every man of historical worth to have bad hair anyway?)

Fast forward to Day 2 of our American road trip…

Washington DC united states monument capitol

Going back to our nation’s capitol caught me off guard today. Studying the Washington Monument and walking through the Korean Memorial with our crew, especially those not from the U.S., reminded me how this country was built on the determination of a few outliers.

 Lincoln Memorial Gettysburg address

Stepping into the cool air of the Lincoln Memorial overtook me. Re-reading the Gettysburg address, (I can never seem to escape you, AP History) was a reminder how words can move nations.

Washington dc united states

And when things get tough, you can always count on the ladies. #women #wemadehistory

Washington dc united states

Washington dc united states

The designer in me couldn’t help but notice this splash of color on an otherwise stoic-looking building. #hues #architecture

Today was one of those humbling days where I was reminded of the patchwork of deviants who questioned status quo. American history didn’t just belong to a handful of old, white men. It was built off the backs of rugged individuals searching for more: more opportunity and more freedom to choose.

It sounds simple, but not until I started traveling aboard 5 years ago, did I realize the luxuries I took for granted by merely being born in the right place, at the right time. With all the contradictions that the US represents aside, it felt great to be holding an American passport today.

downtown nyc battery park city

Day 1: The American Road Trip Begins

By | North America, OUR TRAVELS, US | No Comments

Three months ago, Calvin from The Monsoon Diaries and I had an idea to do a road trip across the U.S.

Our passports have stamps from over 100 countries combined. Ink mementos from places as far-flung as North Korea and Antarctica (Calvin), and as off-the-beaten path as Mozambique and Lesotho (myself) tattoo the pages of our little books. But when it comes to the U.S., one word describes us both: clueless. The size of the U.S. alone is daunting enough, not to mention the fact that both of us are city-dwelling, Uber-reliant, public transit nuts.

In other words, how do you transverse a country half the size of Russia (no joke) with two vehicle-phobic vagabonds? No idea. But as always, our motto is to do now, question later. So we organized a 2-week road trip across 18 states, with 15 road warriors joining us for the 2,400 mile ride.

The results? One grizzly, adventure-filled, beast-of-a-trip, with 2 (minor) accidents and the most diverse crew of co-pilots you can imagine. Today we explored the our hometown of New York City, tomorrow we take on the U.S.

grand central nyc whispering wall

Day 1: New York City. Roza, from New Orleans- byway of Iran- joined us for our tour of NYC. She discovered the “Whispering Wall” in Grand Central and had the best conversation ever. #SecretsofNYC

downtown nyc battery park city

One of the best off-the-radar spots in NYC: the Winter Garden in Battery Park City. We followed it up a private tour of the Skyscraper Museum with a friend and awesome guide, Jorge.

nyc roosevelt island free tram

The best part about playing tour guide in our own city? Discovering the little things we hadn’t done before: taking in the city views from the Roosevelt Island Tram, $5.

nyc 9/11 memorial

We paid our respects at the 9/11 Memorial. #powerful.

chinatown nyc bubble tea

We capped off the night by showing the crew around Chinatown. Jorge and Calvin insisted on introducing Roza to bubble tea. She was a fan. #success.


Welcome drinks for our Spring 2015 trips

Spring 2015: Preview of our Travelers

By | Events, US | No Comments

Hello Spring 2015!

We had our kick-off drinks for our upcoming Spring 2015 trips yesterday. New travelers and friends going on our American Road Trip, Venezuela, and the Guianas came out for a whirlwind pub crawl through NYC. SO. MUCH. FUN. Thanks to everyone who came out and see you on the road in the next few weeks!

travel welcome drinks at pony bar nyc

We started the night off young and tame, at Pony Bar.


Welcoming 2014 from Bermuda

By | Caribbeans, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Like any big city, New Year’s in New York is synonymous for overpriced parties with underwhelming open bars. So for the past two years, I’ve made an effort to stay clear of the pressure to look decent in -20°F NYC weather. This year was no exception: I decided to start 2014 off right by relocating myself in the warmest place I could find for the cheapest flight I could get, and BAM! I was in Bermuda.

But alas, plans never go as smoothly as planned and my friend couldn’t make the trip with me last minute. So I did what I always do: packed my bags, improvised, found a Couchsurfing host (Adam), and had my best new year’s yet.

Read More

Friday Photo

By | Africa, OUR TRAVELS | One Comment

Every once in a while, I look back at pictures from Tanzania and I’m reminded how amazingadorablefunny the kids are.

africa kids orphanage school

Nicole and Christina discussing politics, environmental law and the state of the economy during coffee break at the office.

Botin pig suckling. Oldest restaurant in the world

World’s Oldest Restaurant

By | OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

I had the luxury of dining at Sobrino de Botín, the world’s oldest restaurant while I was in Madrid. Though the place is a tourist trap and I fell victim to over-priced and over-rated suckling pig, and there’s something to be said about sipping wine in a 286-year-old cellar and good service. By good service I mean the manager offering to let me go in the back to snap this photo of Porky and Co.