While MAPD is in its early days, what you probably didn't know is that I've actually been to over 27 countries and that I caught the travel bug while studying abroad in London in 2014 while in college (lifelong Arsenal fan, so that was huge for me). My roommates and I visited Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels during our week and half long spring break and it was then that the rush of globetrotting permeated my soul. I decided that from that point on no matter what I did my life I had to travel often and travel far.
I've since entered the corporate world as a Content Strategist for a slew of government sites and although it pays the bills it's not exactly my idea of making art precede death (get it? because MAPD stands for Make Art Precede Death?). MAPD started as a fun way to break up the monotony of 9-5 life and to have something to look forward to while making my limited vacation hours stretch. The name is inspired by a quote from a man named Arsene Wenger (shout out to you if you know who he is) who once said; "the only way to deal with death is to transform everything that precedes it into art". MAPD is also a play on Mapped, and I love a good double entendre.
Follow me on instagram @itsmegrizz to see more of me in personal life. Wha Gwaan to all my Jamaicans.
Where I've Been Map
Frequently asked questions
How do you travel so often?
I could ramble on and on, but the short answer is that I make travel a priority. I made the choice to live at home to minimize my expenses which allows me to dedicate about 1/3 of my salary to travel. I hoard my pto (I never take days off, even if I'm sick), pack lunches instead of buying out, rarely impulse buy, and pretty much compare anything that cost money to a comparable travel expense and ask myself which one do I value more. The answer is travel 95% of the time. Making money stretch while traveling is also vital, so I often plan trips well in advance to score lower prices, while utlizing price aggregators (more on that down below) and buying flights on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Sundays. I prefer Air BnB and hostels to hotels and resorts and I research things to do myself as opposed to consulting tour agencies. Hope this helps
How do you find activities to do once you get to your destination?
I'm a reader, so I invested in a handful of Lonelyplanet and Atlas Obscura guides that detail dope excursions and points of interest (if you want to know which specific books, reach out to me). I've also built a nice online travel network via Facebook and Meetup groups that I can bounce ideas off of at any time. There are groups for all demographics, filled with travelers of from all walks of life who love to share travel stories. If you never thought of that before, give it a shot. Youtube is of course another good source, someone out there has gone to your destination before you and can show you some things. Google and Trip Advisor are of course never a bad idea. Lastly, the locals of your destination (including your Air Bnb host or hostel staff) once you land are always a gold mine, don't be afraid to strike up a convo (even if you need google translate to do so). This is another one with a lot of moving parts, because ideas can come from anywhere, but I think I've left you with enough to start from.
Can you help me plan my trip?
I'd love to help everyone if I could, but with everything I have going on and the amount of times I get asked this question (both personally and via social media), I just can't make any promises. I'll tell you what, send me an email and if I have the time I will lend special consultation services to you for a small fee. Good luck! In the event that you catch me at a bad time, here are some tips that may help:
What inspired you to make MAPD?
Such a layered question. As a black millenial, I noticed and still notice a real divide and reluctance from some of my peers to venture far and wide beyond domestic hot spots like Miami and Vegas. I wanted to embody the change I hope to see and show that we too enjoy the virtues of exploration and cultural immersion. Representation is huge, no matter how much of a fanboy I am of the late great Anthony Bourdain. Above all though, MAPD is for viewers of all backgrounds and diasporas, and aims to encourage viewers to seize the day every day. I strive to find lesser known points of interest in my locations in addition to the touristy spots. Life is short friends
Can I join you on MAPD?
The short answer is maybe. The long answer is as follows:
I want to be interviewed on Travel and Chill
Reach out to me! There is no real criteria per say for my guest, so long as you are an avid traveler and have an interesting travel story to tell! Email or social media is fine. This goes for collabs too. Fire away