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Trip Archives - MAP AND MOVE

Castillo San Cristóbal

Last Weekend In Puerto Rico

By | North America, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Every few months, the travel bug creeps on me like clockwork.

So last weekend, I rallied my partner-in-crime and together, Kevin and I ravaged Hitlist for a last-minute weekend getaway. As usual, the criteria was simple: flights had to cost no more than 2 weeks worth of eating out ($400 or less), the plane ride no more than 5 hours, and the destination flip-flop-friendly. Our answer was Puerto Rico.

Castillo San Cristóbal

We landed Friday night and spent Saturday morning exploring Old San Juan. Our first destination: Castillo San Cristóbal, the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.

Castillo San Cristóbal

Partner-in-crime, Cap’t Kevin D.

the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.

Peeking out through the second level of the fort. Kevin was in the military and I’m a not-so-closet closet nerd. So if you’re into military trivia ( Kevin) + random bits of history (me), here’s a pretty good breakdown of Cristobal and its little secrets (like its underground tunnel system).

Castillo San Cristóbal

Inside Cristóbal.

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From atop of the fort is this amazing sprawl of city. On our way out, we stopped at the Museo de San Juan. Its location is epic: its entrance faces the Atlantic Ocean and the museum sits nonchalantly between two centuries-old forts. No big deal.

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It was too glorious of a day to spend inside so we didn’t actually venture into the museum. Instead we got distracted by the Saturday farmer market’s in the courtyard.

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Homemade goodness like fresh tamales lined the market tables.

World's cutest pineapple P

We found the world’s cutest pineapples at another table.

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A stand cranking out fresh sugarcane juice.

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We took our hot tamales for an impromptu picnic outside Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the second of the two 400-year-old fortifications surrounding Old San Juan.

Castillo San Cristóbal

Inside, we strolled around its 6 levels until we found a secluded wall for some optimal ocean-viewing.

Puerto_Rico_San Juan_Musuem

A 5-minute walk from El Morro, is Ballajá Barracks built by the Spanish militia for its troops and families. We pit stopped for views + coffee. For $6, you walk upstairs to check out the Museo Las Americas.

Puerto-Rico-IslaVerde

And of course, the beach. Puerto Rico has 270 miles of sandy coast to frolick on. So we took a 20 minute drive to the popular, but still pristine Isla Verde for a splash.

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Saturday night ceviche. We popped into Bagua, a local (but highly Yelp-ed) seafood place near our AirBnB in Ocean Park. Fresh grouper in plantain tacos.

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Rum + grilled octopus. This was my favorite dish for its saucy, tender goodness.

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Skirt steak in fried plantain. This was another win.

El Morro castle

Ending the night on top of a fort on a Saturday night…

 

Map&Move travel tour in Havana, Cuba

See Who’s Coming to Cuba, Jan 2016

By | OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Meet the crew coming on our Cuba trip this New Year’s Eve!

Amy H. | Dallas, Texas

“I like adventures where you wander until you are tired. And then you eat.”

Jenn L. | NYC, New York

“I design stuff and lead Map&Move trips. Oh, and I love cheesecake and getting lost in new cities.”

KarMan P. | Brussels, Belgium

Favorite quote: “I didn’t strive for success, I strive to do something artistically important.”- D. Bowie

Michel L. | Mexico City, Mexico

Favorite quote: “Smile my friend, you’re way too ugly, too old, and too boring to look like that… ” – Logan Rainer

Jorge O. | Mexico City, Mexico

Music nerd and tech guy.

Philo D. | Brussels, Belgium

Fun Fact: I speak 5 languages.

Iceland Video by Cam Thompkins

Video: Capturing Life & Iceland in Motion

By | Europe, Iceland | No Comments

“You can’t change the cards you’re dealt, just how you play the hand.”

The quote above is by Randy Pausch, a professor and author of one of the best books on life that I’ve ever read. In The Last Lecture, Pausch writes about how to achieve your childhood dreams. He’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer and this was the last lecture he gave to this students at Carnegie Mellon.

After my cousin Victoria was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, she had this quote tattooed on her arm. She used it to remind herself to seize life, no matter what the circumstances. 3 weeks ago she passed away. She was my life-long best friend.

In the midst of her passing, the Map&Move trip to Iceland was in two days. Amie, Cam, Matt, Joe and Nate were 5 strangers whose only common bond was the fact that they’d signed up for the same trip. I needed to be in New York to be with family, but but I was determined for them to go- life was dealing a shitty hand but there was no time to sulk.

So in the midst of planning  the funeral, I re-booked logistics for the trip, checked my maps and hashed out the new itinerary with the crew; they would be set to go to Iceland without me.  But I was nervous- this would be the first time I’d planned a trip and not be there to see it through.

PC: Amie Jean

PC: Amie Jean

The crew came back from Iceland 5 days later. Not only did they come back with amazing stories, but Cam created this breathtaking video of the trip. He wrote, “We had around 5.5 hours of daylight, with the sun constantly on the horizon. It was immensely beautiful. It also forced us to be very deliberate about where we went, given the small amount of time we’d be able to see these natural wonders. This video was shot over the course of 4 days. I want to thank those adventurous friends I made on the trip, and Map&Move for presenting me with this opportunity to venture to a place I never thought I’d go to.

Thanks to these magnificent Map&Mover’s for their support and taking the itinerary and making it their own. I’m grateful to Amie for taking the lead, to Cam for capturing the essence of the trip through his lens, to Joe, Matt and Nate for playing everything by ear, and to everyone for taking the cards they were dealt and playing a great hand.

Iceland nature Map&Move

Iceland Day 4: Driving the Golden Circle

By | Iceland, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Let’s see. Today, I walked the fault line between two tectonic plates, saw some geysers, checked out a waterfall, and saw a volcanic crater. Oh and I got a sweet new hat! -Matt

Photos and captions by Matt Levin & Cam Thompkins

PC: Cam Thompkins

PC: Cam Thompkins

Tectonic plates

The tectonic plate dividing the Eurasia and North America. PC: Cam Thompkins

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss, one of the largest waterfalls in the world. PC: Cam Thompkins

Kerid Crater

Kerid Crater, frozen over. PC: Cam Thompkins

The extended sunset is incredible. PC: Cam Thompkins

The extended sunset is incredible. PC: Cam Thompkins

Roadtrip Iceland

PC: Matt Levin

A contemplative Joe Hsu.

A contemplative Joe Hsu. PC: Cam Thompkins

Iceland Days 1+2: Waterfalls, Volcanoes & Icelandic Horses

By | Europe, Iceland, OUR TRAVELS | No Comments

Ahhh, Iceland. I wasn’t able to make our most recent trip, but the newest Map&Move crew did. Amie, Nate, Cam, Matt and Joe flew in on Thanksgiving. After a proper home-cooked Icelandic holiday feast,  they took off driving through the land of fire and ice.

Photos and captions by Amie Jean & Cam Thompkins

We hiked behind the waterfall (got soaking wet and frozen, but so worth it). PC: Amie Jean

SO MUCH happened today!! Departed Reykjavik, stopped at Seljandsfoss and hiked behind the waterfall. (Got soaking wet and frozen, but so worth it). PC: Amie Jean

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PC: Amie Jean

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

PC: Amie Jean

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

PC: Amie Jean

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PC: Amie Jean

Stopped at Skogafoss and climbed a bajillion stairs to the top of the waterfall. PC: Cam Thompkins

Stopped at Skogafoss and climbed a bajillion stairs to the top of the waterfall. PC: Cam Thompkins

Everywhere the clouds seemed to rise from the ground. It felt like another planet. PC: Cam Thompkins

Then we went off route and discovered an epic archway. Everywhere the clouds seemed to rise from the ground. It felt like another planet. PC: Cam Thompkins

The black sand beaches of Vik took my breath away. Viewed from off route, from Dyrhólaeyjarviti. PC: Cam Thompkins

These are the black sand beaches viewed from Dyrhólaeyjarviti, which sits about 1000 feet up. The white on the right side is snow. PC: Cam Thompkins

Dyrhólaeyjarviti

Dyrhólaeyjarviti, PC: Cam Thompkins

Icelandic horses (ponies?) PC: Cam Thompkins

Icelandic horses (ponies?) PC: Cam Thompkins

PC: Amie Jean

PC: Amie Jean